Google Search will try to further improve end-user experience for results by factoring in metrics like page speed, visual experience, and more, the company has announced. This change in ranking metrics will be implemented from May 2021. The concept was announced in May this year and Google is now actively testing these new metrics that will be used, along with others, to rank search results on Google in the future. The factors that Google currently takes into consideration include mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
Google has shared the news on its official blog. The new metrics that will be implemented starting May 2021 include page load times, stability, and responsiveness. Back in May of this year, Google described that the loading times are measured through Largest Contentful Paint or LCP (the render time of the largest image or text block visible within the viewport). For a page to offer a good user experience, it should have LCP occur within the first 2.5 seconds.
Google measures interactivity of a page through First Input Delay or FID (measuring load responsiveness) and the search giant believes an FID of less than 100 milliseconds offers a good user experience. Coming to visual stability, the company uses Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS (measures unexpected layout shift that occurs during the entire lifespan of the page) which needs to be less than 0.1.
These new Google Search metrics are part of ‘Core Web Vitals' and will work alongside the current factors that determine search priority including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
Further, Google is planning on testing a visual indicator that “highlights pages in search results that have great page experience”. These indicators, along with the snippet or image preview, will help users with topical context to know what information a page can provide. This Search feature will also launch in May 2021. Google has also released various tools for publishers to improve their page experience. Lastly, it has also recently launched an AMP Page Experience Guide for AMP publishers.
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