Google search checks page speed and more to evaluate results starting May 2021

Google Search will try to further improve the end-user experience for results by taking into account metrics like page speed, visual experience, and more, as the company announced. This change in ranking metrics will be implemented from May 2021. The concept was announced in May of this year. Google is now actively testing these new metrics, which will be used together with others to evaluate search results on Google in the future. Some of the factors that Google is currently considering include cell phone friendliness, safe surfing, HTTPS security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.

Google shared the news on its official blog. The new metrics that will be implemented starting May 2021 include page load times, stability and responsiveness. Google as early as May this year described that the loading times are measured with Largest Contentful Paint or LCP (the rendering time of the largest image or text block visible in the viewport). For a page to have a good user experience, LCP should occur within the first 2.5 seconds.

Google measures the interactivity of a page using First Input Delay or FID (Measuring Load Responsiveness). The search giant believes that an FID of less than 100 milliseconds provides a good user experience. In terms of visual stability, the company uses Cumulative Layout Shift, or CLS (measures unexpected layout shifts that occur throughout the life of the page), which must be less than 0.1.

These new Google Search metrics are part of “Core Web Vitals” and work in conjunction with the current factors that determine search priority, including ease of use, safe browsing, HTTPS security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.

In addition, Google plans to test a visual indicator that “highlights pages in search results that provide a great page experience”. These indicators, along with the snippet or image preview, help users with current context to know what information a page can provide. This search function will also be started in May 2021. Google has also released various tools for publishers to improve the page experience. Most recently, it also recently launched one AMP Page Experience Guide for AMP publishers.

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