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Why does Google Emphasize User Experience?

Boost SERP rankings by Optimizing your Website's User Experience

James Gibbons
User Experience and SEO Hero Image

Google is the most widely used search platform today, and the website user experience is a crucial factor influencing how well the website performs in search engine rankings.

Google emphasizes user experience, and it is an essential feature for improved SEO performance of your website. User experience significantly influences how websites are indexed and ranked in search engine results pages (SERPs). Providing a positive user experience has become integral to Google's algorithm update.

In this blog, we will learn the importance of page experience in SEO success and how to optimize your website for Google user experience guidelines. Understanding why Google places user experience in such high regard will benefit any website owner looking to improve their SEO.

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What does Google mean by User Experience?

Google defines user experience (UX) as the sum of all interactions with a product or service. Google considers how easy it is for users to find the information they need, how well it works, and how satisfying it is.

Additionally, elements such as the overall look and feel of the search engine, the loading speed of the pages, and how easy the search engine is to navigate are all taken into account when determining user experience.

Google views UX as a combination of factors influencing the user's overall page experience with a web page. These include usability, accessibility, design, performance, and security.

Good UX aims to help users find what they’re looking for in the least amount of time and with the least effort.

The importance of user experience extends beyond search engine rankings. Poor user experience can decrease customer satisfaction, negatively affecting a business’s reputation and sales. According to PwC, 32% of all customers stop doing business with a brand they liked after one poor experience.

A user’s experience with a website can be a significant factor in determining how long they stay on that website. If a user finds a website confusing or challenging, they are likelier to leave it, meaning fewer page views quickly. Search engines are constantly evolving to ensure they provide the best possible experience for their users.

Google Page Experience Ranking Signals

Google Page Experience ranking signals are criteria used by Google to measure the quality of a user's experience when visiting a website or web page. The signals listed below are critical for providing a pleasant page experience to users in Google Search.

Google Page Experience Ranking Signals
Google Page Experience Ranking Signals

1. Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are three real-world performance metrics that reflect web pages' load speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. They objectively measure how quickly a web page loads and responds to user input. The three core web vitals metrics are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

LCP measures loading performance, FID measures responsiveness, and CLS measures visual stability.

Google believes core web vitals are key to page experience because they are real-world performance metrics that reflect how quickly a web page loads and responds to user input. They are the most accurate way to measure how the technical performance of a web page affects the user experience.

By including them in their Page Experience criteria, Google hopes to ensure that web pages’ load quickly and accurately, improving the overall user experience.

2. Mobile-Friendliness

Mobile-friendliness measures a web page's optimization efforts for smartphones and other mobile devices. Websites must load quickly and display correctly on smaller screens. It consists of two elements:

Mobile Usability shows any errors related to display or interactivity on mobile devices. Mobile Speed shows the load time for a page on mobile devices.

Mobile Friendliness is critical to a good page experience because mobile searches are increasing drastically, and Google wants to provide a good user experience across devices. Mobile-friendly pages are more likely to be visited and interacted with and more likely to rank higher in search engine results.

Read how to create a Google mobile-friendly website.


Secure websites use the HTTPS protocol, a secure version of the traditional HTTP protocol. A website needs to offer secure connections to protect user data.

An SSL certificate helps website security by encrypting the data exchanged between a user and a website.

Securing a website with HTTPS ensures that users' data is protected and secure, which gives them confidence in visiting and interacting with the website. Thus following HTTPS protocols aligns with Google’s page experience ranking factor.

4. Safe Browsing

Safe Browsing checks the reputation and safety of the website and ensures that users do not engage with harmful content. It looks for malicious content, deceptive content, and unwanted advertisements that could harm a user's experience on a website or web page.

Security with safe browsing settings is an essential page experience signal because it ensures users have a secure web browsing experience. A secure page experience will reduce the likelihood of malicious content or attacks and increase the trustworthiness of a website.

5. No Intrusive Interstitials

Intrusive interstitials are pop-ups that cover the content of a web page and can be challenging to dismiss. They can be disruptive to a user's experience.

Your web page content should be easy to find and read. Pop-ups that appear without any clicks can negatively impact the page experience.

Intrusive pop-ups can disrupt a user's experience and lead to them leaving the page. By measuring how well a page avoids using intrusive pop-ups, Google can evaluate how well a page is providing a good user experience.

By considering these factors, businesses can create a product or service that offers the best possible user experience.

Google Page Experience Updates

Google values user experience a lot while decking the rankings for search engine results. When ranking websites in search engine results, Google considers page loading speed, mobile-friendliness, user-friendly navigation, and content quality.

Google is also constantly striving to improve its algorithms to provide a better page experience to the user. Let us look at the algorithms that Google introduced that focus on user experience:

1. Google PageRank (1998): PageRank is a patented algorithm that returns a numerical score for each website based on its backlinks and other factors to determine its relative importance.

2. Google Hummingbird (2013): The algorithm introduces natural language processing. It can understand the context of search queries and deliver better answers by understanding the user's intent behind their query rather than just providing a list of related keywords.

3. Mobile Update (2015): It ensures that users get the best mobile experience possible when searching for online information by considering page loading speed and responsive design. A mobile-first indexing update followed this update in 2018.

4. Rank Brain (2015): Rank Brain is a machine learning-based algorithm that uses artificial intelligence to understand search queries better and provide more accurate results. Learn more about the Rank Brain algorithm here.

5. Google Page Speed (2018): Google Page Speed algorithm boosts the rankings of websites that offer a better user experience by loading faster.

6. BERT (2019): BERT algorithm improved Google’s understanding of natural language searches.

7. Core Web Vitals (2021): It measures how quickly and smoothly a website loads, how quickly users can interact with it, and how visually stable it is when loading content. Please read our detailed guide on Core Web Vital.

Google loves websites that provide a positive page experience to users. Google constantly adds updates, so ensure your website follows all best practices. A website focusing on user experience is the key to the business's success and ranking better on SERP.

How Does User Experience Affect SEO Rankings?

User experience (UX) is an important ranking factor for SEO because it can directly affect a website's relevancy and quality. If a website offers a good user experience, visitors will stay longer and are more likely to return. According to an SEO expert Kevin Indig, UX is essential for SEO.

High bounce rates and low page views can negatively affect SEO rankings. Additionally, UX is critical in indexing, crawling, and ranking a website by search engines. It is essential to optimize websites for mobile, have a fast loading speed, be easy to navigate with a logical structure, and have relevant content. All of these elements have an impact on SEO rankings.

As a result, businesses must combine UX design with SEO methods. Concentrating primarily on one of these might result in a bad customer experience and, as a result, lower traffic & sales.

How Does Page Experience Impact SEO?

Page experience has become increasingly important for SEO due to the emphasis Google has placed on it in recent years. Page experience is the overall quality of a user's experience when interacting with a website or web page, including how quickly and efficiently they can navigate the site and use its features.

Page experience also considers how users view and interact with the visual elements on the page or the UX. A good user experience increases the likelihood that a user will remain on a website for longer, visit more pages, and return in the future. These factors are signals search engines use to determine how to rank a website.

The perspectives of an SEO specialist and a UX designer on the same problem are markedly different. UX designers emphasize end-users by analyzing their needs and developing designs that people desire to use. SEO specialists focus on end consumers and discover which search algorithms are essential at any given time to reach people.

While their approaches to issue resolution differ, UX & SEO have the same goal: to provide users with what they desire.

When UX collaborate with SEO, they can make strategic decisions to ensure the high position of SERPs, concentrating on the website structure and content optimization to enhance the user experience further.

Additionally, UX includes elements such as site speed, which directly impacts SEO, as pages with slow load times are penalized. Finally, good UX also typically includes website design features such as clear headings, descriptive titles, and readable URLs, which can improve a website’s SEO.

UX Factors Influencing SEO

The various UX factors can influence the success of a website’s SEO efforts. Here are some of the most important UX factors that can affect SEO:


Accessibility in UX SEO refers to the accessibility and usability of a website for people with disabilities. It includes features like screen readers, text-to-speech, and simple navigation.

Accessibility-focused features like text resizing, voice recognition, and screen reader compatibility help search engines evaluate a website’s usability and user experience. By ensuring the website is accessible, the SERP rankings will be influenced positively.

Site Speed & Page Load Time

Site speed is among the most important metrics for ranking well on SERPs. Search engines use speed to measure how quickly a website loads and how long it takes for its content to render.

A slow page load time adversely affects the user experience and can significantly reduce the website’s search engine rankings. According to Google, the bounce rate increases by 90% if your page takes about 5 seconds to load.

Additionally, studies show that a delay of one second in page load time can affect your conversions by 7%. To ensure a good user experience and maintain SERP rankings, optimizing page speed is essential for websites.

Navigation and Layout

A website with well-structured navigation and layout ensures that it is easy to navigate and helps improve the user experience. Well-structured navigation and design make indexing a website easier for search engine crawlers. According to Clutch, 94% of users consider navigation an essential feature on websites.

Get in-depth knowledge about Faceted Navigation by clicking here.

Responsive & Mobile-Friendly Design

A responsive design is essential to consider when optimizing a website for SEO. Ensuring a mobile-friendly website is crucial for a smooth and seamless mobile user experience.

It includes having a mobile-friendly design, optimizing images for mobile devices, and optimizing page speed. According to Google, 63% of users are more inclined to purchase from businesses whose mobile sites or apps provide appropriate product suggestions.

A website not optimized for these devices will not only be disadvantageous for the user experience, but it will also affect search engine rankings. Since the introduction of mobile-first indexing in 2018, Google has used mobile-friendliness as a critical metric to rank websites.

User Experience and SEO Best Practices

1. Accessible design means the website should keep people with disabilities in mind. It includes features like adding text to speech and screen readers, contrasting colors, and simple navigation.

2. Optimizing Site Load Speed by compressing and reducing the size of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS files and delivering them faster to your users. Optimizing images can reduce the image’s size without compromising quality.

3. A clean and intuitive interface is essential for UX. You should design your website for clarity and visibility. Utilizing whitespace, color, and other design elements creates a clean, modern design that is easy to understand and navigate. You can break long pages into multiple pages with clear navigation options and simplify complex processes with visual cues.

4. A streamlined site navigation will make it easier for visitors to find what they want, leading to more page views and higher user engagement. Implementing a search function on your website makes locating specific content more accessible for your users. You can also utilize a sticky navigation bar at the top of the page that remains visible when users scroll.

5. Mobile users are growing, and designing websites optimized for mobile devices is essential. It includes responsive webpages, fast loading speeds, and intuitive navigation.

6. Search engines give priority to content that is relevant and up-to-date. Keeping content relevant helps visitor engagement and keeps people returning to the website.

7. It is vital to get feedback from users on what they like and don’t enjoy about the website. It helps web admins determine the areas that need improvement to optimize the user experience.

Keep Improving User Experience and SEO

Understanding how users interact with your website and providing a better user experience boosts your SEO and encourages users to stay on your website longer.

To achieve success online, you must combine UX and SEO strategies. By focusing on both aspects equally, businesses can create websites that attract more visitors and increase conversions.

Investing in user experience and SEO can give your business the edge to succeed in the increasingly competitive online world. Ensuring your website’s optimization for users and SEO is complicated if you have multiple landing pages.

Using an SEO platform like Quattr, you can scale your UX and SEO efforts to the next level. Quattr helps to track key performance indicators like rankings, traffic, backlinks, and website health.

It also provides detailed reports and analytics to see which SEO strategies are working and which are not. The Quattr platform lets you stay on top of changes in the SERP and quickly adjust your SEO strategies accordingly.

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User Experience SEO FAQs

What is User Experience in SEO?

User experience in SEO is optimizing a website to improve the user experience and provide visitors with an enjoyable, trouble-free experience. It includes increasing the website load speed, creating a user-friendly navigation system, creating a clean and attractive design, optimizing content for search engine visibility, and improving the website structure.

How does user experience affect SEO?

User experience affects SEO because it directly impacts a website's dwell time and click-through rate. It can influence how high a website ranks in search engine result pages. Good user experience also encourages visitors to link to and share content, which can help to improve a website's ranking further.

How can UX improve SEO?

User experience (UX) can improve SEO by making the website easier to use, encouraging visitors to spend more time on the page and complete the desired actions, and providing a positive user experience that encourages visitors to return. Following user experience best practices ensure the website is easy to use and enjoyable, encouraging more people to visit the site and increasing time spent on the page.

About The Author

James Gibbons

James Gibbons is the Senior Customer Success Manager at Quattr. He has 10 years of experience in SEO and has worked with multiple agencies, brands, and B2B companies. He has helped clients scale organic and paid search presence to find hidden growth opportunities. James writes about all aspects of SEO: on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.

About Quattr

Quattr is an innovative and fast-growing venture-backed company based in Palo Alto, California USA. We are a Delaware corporation that has raised over $7M in venture capital. Quattr's AI-first platform evaluates like search engines to find opportunities across content, experience, and discoverability. A team of growth concierge analyze your data and recommends the top improvements to make for faster organic traffic growth. Growth-driven brands trust Quattr and are seeing sustained traffic growth.

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