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What Is Page Experience and How Does It Work?

What Is Page Experience and How Does It Work?

If you are involved in SEO, you undoubtedly hear the term “Page Experience” bandied about a lot. Chances are, if you’ve heard of this phrase, it was described as something that Google wants to reward websites for having. However, there is not much detail on what exactly User Experience is and how a site can increase its score.

This article will clarify what page experience (also called PX) is and how your site can be increased or decreased depending on how well they create an appropriate online user experience. The tools used by search engines to evaluate PX also help them understand whether or not a web page or site is spammy, so it benefits you to be sure yours doesn’t have any areas that could be construed as being spam.

Page Experience: What Is It And How Does It Work?

The basic, most common definition of PX is that it’s a scoring system search engines use to determine whether or not a web page should rank for a given query. It scores the content and user experience found on the page. This includes things such as navigation, load times, mobile-friendliness, etc. Search engine experience raters (SESRs) are tasked with manually rating site pages using this scorecard. However, Google has also built Artificial Intelligence tools that can now perform these same tasks without human intervention. 

Why do you care about PX? Ranking higher in search results provides more value to your site visitors. However, perception is everything, and if a user has to jump through hoops or wait for a page to load – they may leave. This could result in lower-quality links back to your site (through lost users who will link elsewhere) as well as negative feedback about your business.

What Do You Need For Good User Experience?

The overall goal of any search engine, including Google, is that visitors can find what they are looking for quickly and with ease. To rank better, you need to have content on the page that meets the visitor’s needs – not just information you want them to see! This means people should get from point A (the home page) to B (what they were searching for) as easily as possible. There should be no hurdles, and the time taken to get there should be as short as humanly possible, basically (this is what we’re going for).

Creating an optimal user experience means a site:
Ranks well in search engines have good quality links with relevant anchor text has high click-through rates on Search Engine Results Pages (“SERPs”), has a large page ownership footprint in Google’s index, and strong domain authority. Therefore, this article will focus on the first aspect of creating an optimally positive PX or web user experience – ranking well in the SERPs.

SEO-friendly URLs

Before you can understand how to create a good user experience with your site or page, it’s best to first look at the tools Google has to use to measure and understand them to optimize your site for PX (this is also important for SEO). When visiting your site and looking through the source code of each web page, if they see anything suspicious, they may either rate your page as “thin” or not even crawl them! The most common things that are seen as spammy within URL structures include:

Using dynamic parameters in URLs using generic subdomains (e.g., http://products/something) having redirection pages (pages where users are redirected after clicking on a link)

Some of the safest methods for creating links include:
The use of your main keyword in the URL without being overaggressive (e.g., http://www.yoursite.com/green-tables ), not using dynamic parameters in URLs, and not redirecting users to another site seemingly randomly at all (so don’t have a subfolder or anything with “redirect” written on it!)

How Will the PX Update Work?

Google has provided us with a bit of insight into how the PX update will work. The search engine giant is introducing new ways to see if Google views our pages as having a good PX or not – in real-time! This means that we can now monitor how well (or poorly) our websites’ user experience is rated by Google, rather than just rely on rankings.

This also means we can improve search engine visibility by making changes to websites to increase their user experience score.

What Do the New PX Rank Indicators Look Like?

Here is what they look like in Google Search Console Tools right now for a given site:
Getting these indicators is still dependent on having verified your site with Google Search Console, but if you do – you’ll get to see them. Google Search Console tools are available to all sites with a registered domain, whether or not it has an active site set up on that domain.

User Experience Optimization: What Do You Need to Know?

Google is really good at ranking websites and pages, but sometimes not as good at giving guides or suggestions on how you could improve your user experience. As a result, it has often been left up to web designers and SEOs to figure out on their own based on seeing objective data from Google – whether there are problems or not with the user experience of a site. This is why we have alternate solutions such as using tools like Google Page Speed Insights, which will let us know if our websites’ load times are slow for users and, if so, where specifically:

Google Page Speed Insights

If you see slow load times for your site, there are numerous fixes available. If it’s a hosted site, the host may have issues with caching with CSS or HTML sitemaps. In terms of what to do on your own end as well – make sure you don’t have JavaScript conflicts across pages (within the same domain) and that any external scripts being used work properly!

We should note Google tells us that even though PX is an important factor in determining search result rankings, they also tell us: “Don’t optimize just for this [User Experience] signal.” In other words, try not to obsess over creating a good user experience because PX will be factored into your overall rankings and will give you an edge. Google wants to make sure we don’t just create websites for PX.

This is a big deal for Google as they now feel that through PX, websites can experience their rankings rise or fall based on how well users can use them. So, does your website offer a good overall user experience? You can find out by using the tools and methods listed above and then make any necessary changes to gain an edge over your competitors.

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