Google User Experience Update May 2021

Digital Strategy
Content Marketing


These page experience signals will now be included in Google Search rankings. Meaning that the user’s experience interacting with a page will be taken into account. So, if a user has a positive experience on a website, it should rank higher in Google Search.

The ‘page experience’ will be measured by Core Web Vital metrics (listed below).

This is how the new page experience signals will work:



Core Web Vitals (NEW)

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)- measures loading performance

First Input Delay (FID)- measures interactivity

Cumulative Layout Shifts (CLS)- measures visual stability


Mobile-friendly- optimised for mobile devices (RUNNING)

Safe Browsing- page doesn’t contain malicious or deceptive content (RUNNING)

HTTPS- the page is served over HTTPS (RUNNING)

Mobile popup algorithm/non-intrusive interstitials- the page is easily accessible (RUNNING)

The objects above will be combined to give an overall page experience score. Yet, we don’t know the weighting of each factor and how much it contributes to this overall score. Google has stated these factors will be reviewed yearly and updated when required. With the potential for factors to be removed and added. However, there is a potential for the weightings of each factor to change whenever.

Plans to test a visual indicator have been hinted at. Highlighting pages in Google Search results that have a great user experience. (Rumoured to be a star in a grey circle).

Google is also introducing a change for non-AMP content to become eligible to appear in Top Mobile stories that appear in search results. Any web pages which meet news content policies will also be eligible to be ranked. Based on page experience whether implemented using AMP or not.

Reports have seen a 70% increase in users engaging with auditing tools. Including Lighthouse, PageSpeed Insights, and Search Consoles Core Web Vitals report. Using these to identify areas/ opportunities to improve a website’s user experience.

Many involved with SEO expect the impact to be minor. Yet the visual indicator could provide an incentive for improvement. Meaning companies pay more attention to the new Core Web Vitals.

Google has assured that if the content is relevant, it will still rank well and great content will win. This is also the case for branded content searches.