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UX as a “new” official positioning factor on Google

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If it has been several years since SEOs are increasingly interested in user experience in addition to historical positioning factors, especially on the loading time and mobile compatibility part of their websites, a recent Google article comes to confirm the trend started. Google has officially announced that more and more UX criteria will be integrated into its positioning factors in the next updates. From May 2021, Core Web Vitals will become an official positioning factor. Here is a recap of what to remember.

Loading time, mobile compatibility and page experience metrics: three families of UX criteria that impact and will impact SEO positioning in the SERPs

If Google does not officially admit the use as of today of all the data they have on interactions with websites, in particular via Google Analytics and Google Chrome, many webmasters have already for several years optimized the user experience of their websites in order in particular to:

  • Minimize the loading time of their pages
  • Make their pages 100% compatible with smartphones
  • Minimize the “deception” of their pages to avoid pogosticking (backtracking on the search results page) and minimize the bounce rate

This latest announcement from Important update of Google’s SEO positioning factors comes a little over a year before the planned official deployment.

As of May 2021, Google will therefore use more UX criteria to determine the final ranking of its organic search results.

What new UX criteria will soon be integrated as SEO positioning factors on Google?

Core Web Vitals: desktop view LEPTDIGITAL home page

In its blog article, Google indicated that the new UX criteria that will impact the positioning of web pages on its search engine will essentially be criteria of interactivity with the page, measured in particular thanks to the Chrome Experience Report.

Baptized the ” Core Web Vitals“, These new criteria are based on three statistics: LCP, FID and CLS:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures the loading performance of a web page. LCP measures the time it takes for the browser to display the largest visible item in the viewport from the moment the user tries to access the URL. To provide a good user experience, the LCP should be less than or equal to 2.5 seconds.
  • First Input Delay (FID): measure interactivity with the page. This indicator measures the time between the moment a user interacts for the first time with your page (when he clicks on a link, presses a button or other) and the moment when the browser responds to this interaction, regardless of the time. interactive element he clicked first. This indicator is very important for pages that require actions to be taken (eg e-commerce sites). To provide a good user experience, Google recommends an FID less than or equal to 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures the visual stability of a web page. The CLS measures the number of times the layout is shifted during the load phase. The score is between 0 and 1. 0 means no lag, and 1 means the greatest lag. This value is important because the page element offset prevents people from interacting with your page properly. To provide an optimal experience, Google recommends a CLS of less than 0.1.

What tools to measure the Core Web Vitals of your site and those of your customers?

core web vitals
Core Web Vitals: here’s how to assess if your pages are up to par or not according to Google

Two tools will allow you to measure this:

Similar changes for the ranking of articles referenced in the Google News “Featured” insert

As part of this update, Google will also integrate these same UX criteria into the factors that impact the ranking of referenced pages in the Top Stories feature of mobile search results.

During this same update scheduled for May 2021, Google also announced the end of the AMP requirement to be referenced in this insert, a change of course that reflects the weak breakthrough of this format with publishers?

Google will of course continue to support AMP and will continue to link to AMP pages as they become available, especially from this section.


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