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User Experience Becomes an SEO Ranking Factor

In early May 2020, Google introduced a set of metrics related to speed, responsiveness, and visual stability to help site owners measure user experience. The new metrics are called Core Web Vitals and will be a ranking signal in May 2021. These new metrics, combined with the old page experience metrics, will create the new Page Experience ranking factor in 2021.

Graphic source: Google

Although the old metrics are not changing, the launch of the new Core Web Vitals will change how Google measures page experience. The Core Web Vitals – incorporated with mobile friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPs, and no interstitials – will impact search signals for page experience and should be prioritized for optimization. The biggest change of the new ranking signal is that Google will measure site speed by evaluating the field data gathered from Core Web Vitals. This means it will look at your website through the lens of how real users experience it.

Field Data vs. Lab Data: What’s the Difference?

Field data is a historic look-back of how a page performed for speed based on the devices and network conditions of users in the real world. These scores are updated monthly and represent the scoring of Core Web Vitals with regard to the new Page Experience ranking signal.

Lab data is a simulated load of a page on a single device with a fixed set of network conditions….

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