What is Page experience? Well, Page Experience is all about making sure that people using our websites, web pages, and web apps are getting the best experience we can give them. Patrick Kettner, a Developer Advocate at Google, dives into what elements make up page experience and what is involved in getting the best experience for users.
Does your page use HTTPS? If so, you want to make sure that your page’s rel= “canonical” version is set to the HTTPS version. Perhaps even more importantly, you want to ensure that any non-HTTPS traffic is automatically redirected to the HTTPS version.
Enabling HTTPS for your sites is beneficial because it prevents any information accessed by your users from being modified by a man-in-the-middle attack and increases user privacy from any potential eavesdroppers that may exist on their network.
SSL certificates are now affordable, and with projects like Let’s Encrypt, you can quickly enable HTTPS for your entire site free of charge. However, Let’s Encrypt is a time-consuming process, so go check it out and get your pages secure today!
Since everyone has started using their phones to access the web, it is crucial to ensure that all content works on mobile devices. Therefore, Google Search introduced the concept of mobile-friendliness in 2016, providing a specific list of issues that create common causes of bad user experiences on mobile devices.
Factors such as making sure that text isn’t too small to be read, links aren’t hard to tap, and signs of content not being optimized for mobile devices are essential as mobile web traffic continues to surpass and exceed desktop traffic year over year. Regardless of the device type, the changes required to make a site mobile-friendly improve the user experience for all.
Some parts of mobile-friendliness could potentially require more work, such as parts of your site that rely on plugins, like flash or Quicksilver, which would need to be removed for you to pass. However, you can quickly check specific URLs with the mobile-friendliness checker. And of course, you can check your entire site and automatically be alerted to any issues that may pop up via the Search Console.
The last metric we’re going to look at is a lack of intrusive interstitials. Of course, no one likes pop-ups, and as of this video, there is no automated tool to alert you to intrusive interstitials on your site. But if you have pop-ups, you probably already know about them. They’re typically found on sites with sketchy advertisements or intentionally deceitful with their user interfaces.
As Googlebot crawls the web, it looks for these types of interstitials popping up, blocking the page, and generally causing a worse user experience. It is essential to know that this does not include legal interstitials, things like privacy policies or cookie notifications, or login prompt for sites that require them or when content requires a subscription to be accessed. Those legitimate use cases for interstitials are recognized as legitimate by Googlebot and should not cause any problem for you. If you have a URL that is being flagged as having intrusive interstitials, fixing it depends mainly on the specific problem.
To prevent issues, avoid covering the page with something irrelevant or requiring an interstitial to be dismissed before a user can interact with the actual page. Instead, the site owner’s goal should be to try and make sure content fits into the page organically without interrupting what the user is trying to do on your page.
The Search Console is a place where site owners can check, track, and stay up to date with all the parts of Page Experience relevant to your web pages. Search Console will help you understand the traffic to your site and highlight any issues that you may otherwise miss. In fact, in addition to the existing tools previously mentioned, the Search Console recently added the Page Experience Report section to make sure that you’re always up to date with how every page on your site is doing with Page Experience and Core Web Vitals.
Since Page Experience is a part of determining what goes into the new Top Stories Carousel, a frequently asked question is: “Hasn’t AMP handled all this stuff for me? Many sites that use AMP have done so to reduce their technical burden of tracking and dealing with all the individual checks.”
Fortunately, if you are already using AMP, then all these checks are likely already passing. But not only that, but you can also check the Page Experience Checker, which is a comprehensive tool that can automatically flag and find issues on any AMP pages put together by the AMP team.
Page Experience is about making sure that a person who wants to see your site can do so easily, quickly, and safely. Site owners can continue watching this series by Google Search Central and learn more about the metrics that go into Page Experience!