Page experience is a set of ranking signals from Google that measure how users interact with and enjoy a web page beyond its informational value.
Google’s exhaustive research, predictably, found that users prefer websites with a great page experience.
Google gathered hard data from experiments on the search results page to improve the search experience. They conducted experiments to find out how users react when web search takes longer. They intentionally slowed the delivery of search results to see how users responded. More searches, to Google, meant more satisfied users. Experiments showed that slowing down the search results page by 100 to 400 milliseconds lowered number of searches per user by -0.2% to -0.6%.
Users delayed 200 ms did 0.22% fewer searches in the first three weeks, but 0.36% fewer searches in the second three weeks. Whilst users delayed 400 ms did 0.44% fewer searches in the first three weeks, but 0.76% fewer searches in the second three weeks. Even when the search results page returns to normal, users take weeks or even months to return to their baseline useage.
A daily loss of 0.76% is substantial at scale. The cost of slower performance increases over time and lingers. A good page experience score helps your content get exposure to users in Google search. Domains built with AMP are far more likely to pass the Core Web Vitals used by Google than non-AMP websites.
Research suggests mobile users generally keep their attention on the screen for 4–8 seconds at one time. Meaning if they look away before your page loads, this further delays when they actually see the page. So a 5-second load time might turn into a 10-second effective delay. The speed of the response should be similar to the delays humans experience when they interact with one another. That is 1–4 seconds (maximum) – otherwise, as with humans, it just gets awkward and less information gets shared (in both directions).
Table of Contents
Benchmarks as per Core Web Vitals
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance. LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
- First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity. Pages should have a FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability. Pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.