Core Web Vitals: Page Experience Update to hit Desktop February 2022

Add the date to your calendar: Page Experience Update to hit desktop in February next year

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High spec desktop computer interior

© Chiradech Chotchuang / Adobe

Google have officially announced that the Page Experience Update will be rolling out for desktop search starting from February 2022.

Following the Page Experience Update impacting mobile search rankings starting from June and August 2021, Google are now finishing things off by rolling out the same signals to desktop users in Q1 2022.

What is the Page Experience Update?

The Page Experience Update is a set of ranking signals composed of Core Web Vitals: Google's page experience metrics, and other associated page experience signals such as HTTPS and avoiding intrusive interstitials.

The following chart from the announcement blogpost shows the signals included for both desktop and mobile.

Page Experience signals
Page Experience signals, from February 2022

As per the above chart, all signals that currently apply to mobile will apply to desktop - apart from mobile friendliness which is not applicable.

Largest Contentful Paint, Cumulative Layout Shift and First Input Delay are the three primary components that are used to calculate Core Web Vitals scores.

When will the Page Experience desktop update happen?

The Page Experience Update is scheduled to start rolling out to desktop searches from February 2022.

  • Mobile search: from June - August 2021
  • Desktop search: from February 2022

Last time around Google delayed the update to give site owners more time, but this is fairly unlikely to happen again.

Will this affect my website?

Yes. This update will affect all types of websites: from ecommerce sites to small websites. Google plan to begin rolling out using Page Experience signals for the desktop rankings for every website from February 2022.

It is sensible to make sure that your webpages score well for Core Web Vitals, use HTTPS, and to avoid using intrusive interstitials or popups - just as site owners should ideally have done previously as the update hit mobile rankings.

It is unlikely to be a drastic change so don't worry too much. However if you are in a competitive industry then it would of course make sense to take advantage of any opportunity to improve your rankings.

How to test my website for page experience metrics?

You can check your sites page experience metrics in Search Console, check your site's scores in the CrUX Dashboard on Data Studio, and check your lab scores using tools such as PageSpeed Insights.

To check you are using HTTPS you can check in your browser or use a simple HTTPS analysis tool.

PageSpeed Insights Tool Update

Google have recently updated the PageSpeed Insights tool with an updated look, new URL, and slight tweak to the format.

The update aimed to:

  • Make the UI more intuitive by clearly differentiating between data derived from a synthetic environment and data collected from users in the field.
  • Clearly communicate how the Core Web Vitals assessment is calculated in the UI.
  • Modernize the look and feel of PSI, leveraging Material Design.

Source: What's new in PageSpeed Insights

You can see what the new format looks like in the screenshot below:

PageSpeed Insights new look