Should You Worry about the Desktop Page Experience Update?

Desktop page experience has rolled out, here is what you need to know about it.

Video transcript:

Tim: So, yeah. It was the article about the desktop page experience update from Google. That pages can get a ranking boost if they offer a good page experience for desktop, as they do with mobile.

David: Right. This actually rolled out last month. And I find it really interesting, in the sense that Google’s crawler is mostly mobile-first at this point. So, they’re evaluating the mobile version of your site for ranking. I find it very interesting that Google’s rolling out desktop page experience because if the crawler is mobile-first, does that matter very much to Google? However, what I also have experienced is that really a lot easier to get… If you’ve worked hard to get the mobile experience compliant, the desktop experience is going to be very good. In fact, almost all my clients, even the ones that really struggled with getting the mobile page bid experience up to speed, their desktops are doing great. So, go into Search Console and look under the core web vitals report to compare your mobile with your desktop. You might find that your desktop is doing just fine. But if I was to fix something, I would probably focus on fixing it on the mobile, hoping that by fixing it on the mobile, it also fixes the desktop.

Tim: So, is it mainly talking about page speed when it talks about page experience?

David: No, the page experience, we have to remember what Google means by that. We oversimplify and say Google uses speed as a ranking factor. But Google said they have a real hard time measuring true page speed. Right? Page speed when you’re on a 3G connection on your cell phone is a very different experience than on the gigabyte fiber that I have at home. And so, which should Google use? So, what they said is rather than use speed as a factor, we’re going to use core web vitals the page experience factors as ranking factors. And so, if you have a faster load time, you’re probably doing okay with the core web vitals. Some of the core web vitals really have nothing to do with speed.

Tim: Right

David: And so, focus on the core web vitals; they will probably help your website be faster. But how do we measure speed? Well, Google basically said they don’t know how to measure speed. They’re focusing on these three things. So, you know, sometimes people like things Like GTmetrix. Yes, that can help you find speed problems, but that’s not what Google’s looking at. Google is looking at the three web core vitals. So, yeah, it will help everybody if your website loads faster, and by loading faster, you’ll probably fix the core web vitals, but theoretically, you might be a fast website that doesn’t affect core web vitals. For instance, improving caching on a web page will improve the speed. But Google Spider is not using cached pages to determine ranking. Right? So, I mean, they are caching pages to add to the index, but that’s… So, you could have the feel and experience of being a very fast website, but it still fails the core web vitals. So, focus on the three core web vitals. Yes, speed is a function of that, but it’s not all that it’s about. And I would still, even though the update for the desktop is released and now that it’s ranking factor, I would focus on improving my mobile, which will in turn, consequently, improve my desktop. It’s very rare that there’s something that would affect your desktop that would not also be beneficial to your mobile. Because we’re most of our websites at this point are responsive. So, seeing the same code just seeing it arranged differently.

Tim: Right.

David: So, focus on the mobile, and you’ll find that your desktop will do better. I mean, that’s kind of where I’ve advised my clients. Honestly, we work so hard on the mobile for many of my clients that the desktop is looking great – looking better than the mobile. And I don’t have to get 100%. I just have to pass the three web core vitals. And then Google is rewarding that.

Tim: Cool. That makes sense.


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