Google page experience delay – what to expect

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Have you got to grips yet with one of the biggest changes that is coming in 2021? Originally Google’s page experience was due to be rolled out in this the month of May, however there has been a delay and a refining of the timetable. Read on to find out more.

Once it arrives, Google Page Experience will be one of the biggest update style changes of the year, and probably of the last few years. You can read all about what Google Page Experience is, in our previous blog post entitled Heads up! Google page experience coming in May 2021.

You might be sitting wondering how can something be so important that it means it’s roll-out has been delayed – if it was that important surely it would become live ASAP? The clue is in Google’s statement which has been recently released and you need to interpret this further yourself. Google have indicated that the delay in rolling out page experience has been announced to allow webmasters to continue to make refinements and adjustments to their sites, with the overall goal of page experience in mind. Google have given plenty of notice that page experience was in the pipeline, it was widely reported at the end of 2020 / start of 2021, so you may be even more confused about why there is need for a delay.

The delay is simply because of its importance. Google want to try and give webmasters the maximum amount of time and opportunity to make changes to adjust to these new vitals, without the opposite happening of many people falling foul to the new rules or being subject to a penalty. This ‘extra time’ serves almost like a final warning or being put on notice. Think of it this way, if the change wasn’t likely to have much impact, it would have just been released without much coverage, and certainly without a delay, because Google would know that people would not be affected by it. The fact the opposite is true in this case, means we can be expected to see some big changes (and potentially penalties to those who ignore it.)

Google does not want to be accused of plunging rankings and website statuses into uncertainty, especially when things are still fragile, and business is only starting to bounce back from the lockdowns and covid issues around the world. Google have also probably calculated that most people will have now already worked towards the page experience changes, and this little extra time acts as a buffer.

What is the new timetable?

Rather than the roll-out beginning in May, this will now not start until the middle of June. An extra 4-6 weeks is great for people who are more than 75% of the way there to making changes, but if you haven’t started yet, you really need to act now! Once started, the roll-out is expected to last most of the summer and not be completed until the end of August – again, perhaps giving another indication of the scale of the change!?

Once mid-June does arrive, expect to see ranking changes slowly starting to take effect in relation to the new parameters, along with the importance of https sites and mobile friendly sites which are already regarded as a requirement anyway. It is likely (but not guaranteed) that the more advanced changes will take place a little later down the line, but remember that all should be complete by the end of August so this doesn’t leave a lot of time in the grand scheme of the change.

Once the change has come in and taken effect, we will be sure to write another blog post on this (likely in the autumn,) discussing what has happened and how the change has affected people and their sites.

They say you should never look a gift horse in the mouth. If you are not ready for page experience yet, this gift horse has just granted you a bit more time – don’t waste it!

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