Google’s John Mueller has offered up some interesting insight into the recent Page Experience Update, revealing that the update, which incorporates core web vitals, is, in fact, a ranking factor and could have more impact than previously thought.
“It is a ranking factor, and it’s more than a tie-breaker, but it also doesn’t replace relevance,” said Mueller on Reddit.
This revelation should come as a bit of a surprise to the SEO community, as Google had previously implied that the Page Experience Update is simply a tie-breaker.
In fact, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes, had initially said the Page Experience Update would not be significant, with Mueller adding that it would be a slow rollout that would not be felt very much. Google Public Search Liason, Danny Sullivan, also came out and said that it would not create massive change or have a significant impact when rolled out.
Based on Mueller’s comments this morning, we can now assume that the Page Experience Update lies somewhere between a tie-breaker signal and a very low weight signal.
Here’s Mueller’s full explanation so you can interpret it for yourself:
“Depending on the sites you work on, you might notice it more, or you might notice it less. As an SEO, a part of your role is to take all of the possible optimizations and figure out which ones are worth spending time on. Any SEO tool will spit out 10s or 100s of “recommendations”, most of those are going to be irrelevant to your site’s visibility in search. Finding the items that make sense to work on takes experience.
The other thing to keep in mind with core web vitals is that it’s more than a random ranking factor, it’s also something that affects your site’s usability after it ranks (when people actually visit). If you get more traffic (from other SEO efforts) and your conversion rate is low, that traffic is not going to be as useful as when you have a higher conversion rate (assuming UX/speed affects your conversion rate, which it usually does). CWV is a great way of recognizing and quantifying common user annoyances.”