Google simplifies Page Experience and removes the safe browsing signal
The update is still being implemented, launched last June 15 with completion estimate due by the end of this month of August, but meanwhile comes a first, great news that modifies the signals used for the ranking of pages: Secure browsing is no longer considered for the Google Page Experience and, together with the Advertising Experience widget, has already been removed from the Search Console Page Experience report.
Page Experience, signals are changing
The announcement of this change comes from Jeffrey Jose, Product Manager on Search, who from the blog explains the reasons that prompted the search engine to remove safe browsing from the signals taken into account for the set of ranking factors of the Page Experience.
“Google’s Safe Browsing systems are designed to protect users on the Internet”, writes Jose, but “sometimes sites are victims of third-party hijacking, which can cause the display of Safe Browsing alerts”. Therefore, “these problems are not always under the control of the owners of the sites” and Google has decided “that Safe browsing is not used as a positioning signal and will not appear in the report Experience on pages”, and any Safe Browsing marks will continue to be displayed in the Search Console outside of this report.
The new signals of the Page Experience
In practice, then, we have one less element of concern in the optimization work: although obviously our goal must be to provide a safe browsing experience to users, know that any problems with safe browsing do not affect performance in the rankings is still a heartening aspect.
The new factors that make up the experience signals of the page are the three Core Web Vitals and then compatibility with mobile devices, HTTPS and non-iintrusive interstitials, as highlighted by the following graphics.
This, instead, is the previous screen, in which the safe browsing still appears:
News for the Page Experience Report
As said, the Safe browsing signal also disappears from the Search Console Page Experience Report, one of the systems to measure the performance of the site compared to the parameters introduced by Google; this is not the only news that concerns this report, which has been the focus of other interventions.
In particular, Google is also removing the Ad Experience widget “to avoid bringing out the same information on two parts of the Search Console”, since the information on ads are already available in a standalone tool, the Ad Experience Report. This is precisely the tool that we can continue to use to examine the status of our site and identify advertising experiences that violate Better Ads Standards, namely the set of experiences with ads that the industry has identified as very annoying for users.
Anyway, Jose recalls, the Ad Experience “has never been used in updating the experience on Google pages”, and therefore this change does not affect the status of the page experience of our pages.
In addition to these two major updates, Google is implementing further improvements to the way the Report handles missing data; in particular:
- A “No recent data” banner has been added to the Core Web Vitals report and the Page Experience report.
- A bug was fixed that caused the display of a status “failing HTTPS” when Core Web Vitals data was missing.
- The empty state text has been reformulated both in the report Experience on the page and in the report Core Web Vitals.
Report Page Experience, useful information to create good experiences for users
The Page Experience report brings together the Core Web Vitals report with other components of the Page Experience indicators, such as HTTPS security, absence of invasive interstitial ads, optimization for mobile devices and – at least until today – safe browsing status.
Users can read important metrics there, such as the percentage of Urls that offer a good quality page experience and impressions in the search network over time, which allow you to have immediate insights to quickly assess your performance.
The new updates, decided also thanks to feedbacks received by the developers after the launch of the tool, simplify the report and solve some of the critical issues that have emerged so far, allowing site owners to focus on what is most important in the Page Experience optimization work.