Google updates guidance on search ranking systems page April 2023

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hands typing on a laptop. Semi-transparent search bar in foreground.

A lot of talk this past week on Google updating its guidance on the search ranking systems page. Specifically, they removed the sections on page experience, mobile friendliness, page speed, and site security. 

There is a lot of noise about what this means, but in the end nothing really changed except for the official guidance. 

Page speed was and probably still will be an overemphasized “ranking factor”. Google probably doesn’t directly measure a website’s speed when considering search rank. I say probably because no one really knows their algorithm. They definitely do measure engagement rate which is affected by page speed but not as much as some have focused on. 

Page experience is another “ranking factor” that is probably not directly measured for search results. As the name suggests, it is related to the experience users have when they visit your page. Does your website use a secure connection? Do you have annoying popups or too many ads? These can all have a negative effect on your users which could lead to lower engagement rates.

The main focus when trying to make your website appear more frequently on Google is to be the answer to more queries. Visitors to your website likely have many alternative options so you should provide a good experience. If you don’t, then they will abandon your page which will lead to lower engagement. That means you should make your website fast and give users a good experience. Try to satisfy the user, not the machine. But do make it easy for the machines to find it as well.

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