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Google Page Experience Update Fully Rolled Out – This is Why it Matters via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google announced that the Page Experience Update has finished rolling out. The announcement was largely met with a muted response. Nevertheless this is a big update and it will pay to pay attention to it.

Google Page Experience Ranking Signals

Google’s Page Experience ranking factors currently are comprised of four categories.

  • Core Web Vitals
  • Mobile-friendly
  • HTTPS
  • No intrusive interstitials

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Core Web Vitals has received numerous updates in 2021 that have had the effect of making the metrics fairer and more accurate.

In general those updates to the individual metrics that comprise the Core Web Vitals have led to improved website scores for most sites.

The seeming ban on intrusive interstitials was recently clarified by John Mueller. He said that interstitials that block users from the content when they first arrive on a site is what Google deems objectionable and a poor user experience.

Google Page Experience Update has Finished Rolling Out

Google’s Search Central Twitter account announced that the update has finished rolling out.

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The announcement only received three responses and 45 quote retweets.

The 45 quote tweets were devoid of much commentary and seemed to express a collective shrug from the worldwide search community.

Page Experience Update is Important

While relevance is the overall most important outcome for any search ranking, page experience factors still qualify as important ranking factors that merit consideration and attention.
The Page Experience ranking factors are real ranking factors, not the tiny nudge that some believe it to be.

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The official Google Search Central page for the Page Experience ranking factors states:

“…in cases where there are many pages that may be similar in relevance, page experience can be much more important for visibility in Search.”

Core Web Vitals is More than a Tie Breaker

At some point in time the Core Web Vitals metric was commonly assumed to be small and relatively inconsequential. Perhaps the lack of impact from previous Page Experience factors like HTTPS and mobile friendliness led to that assessment.

But that’s not really the case with the entire Page Experience ranking factors taken as a whole, in particular with the Core Web Vitals.

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According to Google they are more than just tie-breakers.

At the beginning of August Google’s John Mueller affirmed that Core Web Vitals is more than a tie breaker, that it is a significant ranking factor in itself.

In a discussion on Reddit where Core Web Vitals was being dismissed as relatively inconsequential, John Mueller joined in to inform the community that the Core Web Vitals ranking factor was important and worth paying attention to.

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“It is a ranking factor, and it’s more than a tie-breaker, but it also doesn’t replace relevance.

Depending on the sites you work on, you might notice it more, or you might notice it less.

As an SEO, a part of your role is to take all of the possible optimizations and figure out which ones are worth spending time on.”

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The Page Experience Update is Relatively Important

Many ranking factors are cloaked in mystery.

While we know that links are an important ranking factors, we don’t know which links will help with rankings and which ones do nothing.

The Page Experience ranking signals are different in that Google is entirely transparent and open about these ranking factors and provides useful tips for improving scores.

Given that the Page Experience Ranking Factors are the best documented ranking signals that do have a ranking effect, it makes sense to be prudent about assigning some resources to improving Page Experience Signals in order to put your absolute best effort to winning the top spot in the search results.

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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