Upcoming Google Search ranking update (Core Web Vitals are becoming ranking signals); how does it affect sites powered by XenForo

djbaxter

Well-known member


Google has published a list of frequently asked questions regarding Core Web Vitals, the company’s set of performance metrics pertaining to user experience, and the upcoming Page Experience update, which will roll out in May 2021.

Page experience signals for ranking apply only to mobile search. In the answers to the questions “Why are there differences in scores between mobile and desktop?” and “Is there a difference between desktop and mobile ranking?” Google states, “At this time, using page experience as a signal for ranking will apply only to mobile Search.”

Follow Core Web Vitals guidance for progressive web and single page apps. “Core Web Vitals measure the end-user experience of a particular web page and don’t take into account the technologies and architectures involved in delivering that experience,” Google said. This means that, with respect to the Page Experience update, Google prioritizes the observed user experience above all else.

Of course, the relevance and quality of the content will continue to be more important than page experience.

If you’re on AMP, you’re probably prepared for the update. “There is a high likelihood that AMP pages will meet the thresholds,” Google said, noting that AMP’s evergreen release enables performance improvements without site owners having to invest more resources or change their codebases.

However, sites can also meet, or exceed, these thresholds without AMP, which may be a more suitable option for businesses that rely on display ads for revenue, or do not wish to maintain AMP versions of their pages. Google lifting the AMP restriction on its Top Stories section may also push publishers away from the framework.
 

rickhz

Active member
From the article linked above:

"Follow Core Web Vitals guidance for progressive web and single page apps. “Core Web Vitals measure the end-user experience of a particular web page and don’t take into account the technologies and architectures involved in delivering that experience,” Google said. This means that, with respect to the Page Experience update, Google prioritizes the observed user experience above all else.

Of course, the relevance and quality of the content will continue to be more important than page experience.

If you’re on AMP, you’re probably prepared for the update. “There is a high likelihood that AMP pages will meet the thresholds,” Google said, noting that AMP’s evergreen release enables performance improvements without site owners having to invest more resources or change their codebases.

However, sites can also meet, or exceed, these thresholds without AMP, which may be a more suitable option for businesses that rely on display ads for revenue, or do not wish to maintain AMP versions of their pages. Google lifting the AMP restriction on its Top Stories section may also push publishers away from the framework.

Why we care. The forthcoming Page Experience update signals that Google wants site owners to put a focus on mobile user experience. It will even begin testing a visual indicator in the search results to highlight pages that provide a great user experience."
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I sure hope Xenforo does something to fix this. The 30,000+ pages that Google doesn't like are all from my Xenforo forum.
 

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djbaxter

Well-known member
Google Search Console shows 30,000+ "poor URLs" for Mobile and 0 for Desktop when evaluating the same Xenforo powered forum. Desktop shows "29,360 good URLs". Mobile shows "74 good URLs".


IMO that has nothing to do with quality of the content.
How old are those stats for desktop? Google switched most sites to mobile only indexing a good few months ago.
 

eva2000

Well-known member
I sure hope Xenforo does something to fix this. The 30,000+ pages that Google doesn't like are all from my Xenforo forum.
part of that comes down to the Xenforo theme/style you choose to use unless you plan to use Xenforo default style forever :)

mine so far

1607365400273.png
 

Live Free

Active member
I find Google’s continuous push of AMP distasteful and troubling. Whenever I encounter an AMP link I want to share I always have to take extra care to remove it and share the original.

I was unaware Google moved to mobile only indexing. That’s absolutely wild.
 
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Masetrix

Well-known member
Mobile with AMP definitely scales better than without AMP. We have been using AMP since November 24th, 2020.
1609406034547.png

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And here the change of our mobile pages since we started using AMP from poor to good
1609406511636.png

These graphics / statistics speak clearly, apart from all the assumptions and
theoretical points of view that I read here.
 

javakhir

Member
A forum is not a web which should speed up for page speed!
I am 8 years in SEO now. I have a website with 95 mobile & 100 desktops, I do that because my competitor has 90 mobile & 95 desktops.
Regarding XF: I did migrate VB to XF, after that fixed 200k pages & passed google validation. not even a single page has a problem now.
A forum is a place - user can stay for hours, Bounce rate is most important to Google.
Believe me, if your web is popular, it will be on the top pages of google search, even page speed shows poor red
 

djbaxter

Well-known member
that's simply not true. Any search engine would be stupid if it did not take into account if people are leaving a site immediately.
Sorry but you're just plain wrong about that.


Google said this in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Google said bounce rates are not good signals, in 2008 Google said it is a noisy signal and also in 2008 said click data is not used for rankings. This is a myth Google said but then you have people at Google misspeaking causing more confusion.

That doesn't mean webmasters should ignore bounce rate. Among other things, it's a measure of how well your site answered whatever question(s) brought the visitor to your page. But if your site is about tractors and somehow a visitor found your page looking for advice on how to fix a screen door, the fact that he left your site quickly means nothing to you or to Google. On the other hand, if the search query is relevant to your site and the visitor leaves quickly, that could mean you answered his/her question quickly - or you didn't answer it at all.

Either way, it's still not a ranking factor for Google or Bing.
 

nocte

Well-known member
o.k., maybe I've gone to far saying "simply not true". Sorry about that. But I am quite sure bounce rate is considered in some way.
 

djbaxter

Well-known member
The quote above provides 9 additional links to verify that it is not a ranking signal. Read them.
 

javakhir

Member
you can do whatever you want, can make debate here, can always be a smart guy who knows everything, no matter!
you know the theory, but practice shows a different point. all proofs & photos posted.
I am not interested in having a conversion with a person who does not believe what he saw.
continue writing nonsense & make others wrong!

if you know something, just share, otherwise keep silence

once upon a time, a wise man said nothing!
 

djbaxter

Well-known member
you can do whatever you want, can make debate here, can always be a smart guy who knows everything, no matter!
you know the theory, but practice shows a different point. all proofs & photos posted.
I am not interested in having a conversion with a person who does not believe what he saw.
continue writing nonsense & make others wrong!

if you know something, just share, otherwise keep silence

once upon a time, a wise man said nothing!
Who is this comment aimed at?
 

Masetrix

Well-known member
Google Search Console shows 30,000+ "poor URLs" for Mobile and 0 for Desktop when evaluating the same Xenforo powered forum. Desktop shows "29,360 good URLs". Mobile shows "74 good URLs".


IMO that has nothing to do with quality of the content.
Before we used AMP from @mazzly , we had around 19,000 "poor" urls and around 20,000 urls to be optimized.
Well, with AMP you can see the result since we started using the AMP-adon. 0 poor and around 20,000 urls to be optimized :D We now have to get our cls below 0.13, then all urls are "good".

Since the plus in mobile speed counts here, the content is of secondary importance. We also notice this in the plus of our clicks and impressions since we started using AMP.

But this is best seen in real graphics:
1611765517910.png

1611765946789.png

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1611766154772.png

I really hope that the developers at XF will work on a more effective way of rendering the mobile style, so that the mobile style becomes as effective and fast as the desktop style is already now.
 
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