May 28, 2020 - Technology

Google to make "page experience" a ranking factor in Search results

Photo: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

Google said Thursday it will start making "page experience," or how user-friendly a web page is, a ranking factor in Google Search, as well as in the "Top Stories" feature in mobile Search. Factors like load time and interactivity will be included in the evaluation.

Why it matters: It's part of a long list of actions Google has taken to force web publishers to deliver better experiences for users. For example, Google has in the past banned traffic to publishers with annoying pop-up ads.

Details: The company is also removing the requirement that a publisher needs to use its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) infrastructure to be eligible as a featured top story in Search.

  • Google used to require that publishers use AMP in order to ensure that top results had a great user experience, but the company now says that its "Top Stories" feature will be open to any page.
  • For publishers that currently publish pages as AMP, or with an AMP version, Google said they will see no change in behavior and that the AMP version will be the one linked from "Top Stories."

What's next: Google said that because of the pandemic, these changes will be implemented slowly and that there is no need for web publishers to take immediate action.

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