However, user experience remains critical, which is why Google introduced Priority Hints to assist site owners and browsers in prioritizing which resources to load first.
The page experience update has sparked considerable speculation among SEOs since its announcement. This was because it elevated user experience to a higher ranking factor in Google than it had previously been and because it was announced more than a year in advance of its implementation.
Google stated well in advance of the rollout that the page experience update would be minor: “While this update is intended to highlight pages that provide exceptional user experiences, page experience remains one of several factors considered by our systems. Given this, sites should not anticipate significant changes.”
After several months of full rollout, it’s time to assess the update’s impact and discuss a new method for optimizing Core Web Vitals (CWV) and enhancing your user experience.
While few SEOs have seen significant changes in their rankings, this is only part of the story.
“I am unaware of anyone who has been affected. Even those with extremely low rankings… significant improvements and no change,” UK-based freelance SEO consultant Andy Drinkwater stated on Twitter, specifically referring to the impact on search results (rankings). Drinkwater’s experience appears to be widespread — numerous other SEOs have also expressed frustration with the lack of return on investment in improving CWV in the SERPs.
Isolating the update to the page experience. It is critical to recognize that any apparent benefits from CWV optimization may not have occurred in isolation. Between June 15 and September 2, 2021, the updated page experience was rolled out. Google also released two spam updates, the July 2021 core update, and possibly numerous unconfirmed updates during that time period.