Google’s Page Experience update is still in the process of rolling out, and things are already flip-flopping. Give us a minute to catch our breath! In an announcement, Google said Safe Browsing is being removed from the Page Experience Report in Google Search Console. The company also updated its widely-shared “Search signals for page experience” graphic – you’ve definitely seen this one around – to illustrate the removal of Safe Browsing. This means Safe Browsing is no longer one of the criteria to benefit from a ranking boost when the Page Experience update goes live. Along with the Core Web Vitals, mobile-friendly, no intrusive interstitials and HTTPS remain as ranking factors.
So, why the sudden decision to do away with Safe Browsing?
Google said that Safe Browsing warnings could be surfaced when a site falls victim to third-party hijacking, meaning that, as a ranking signal, Safe Browsing could in certain instances fall out of a site owner’s control. While SEOs will still be notified of Safe Browsing issues in Search Console, it will be outside of the Page Experience report (and outside of the Page Experience update). In addition to Safe Browsing being retired from Page Experience, Google is also removing the Ad Experience widget from the Search Console report.
Here’s a round-up of everything that’s changed and what it means:
- The Safe Browsing widget is out. Because it’s no longer a ranking signal, Safe Browsing is being removed from the Page Experience Report in Search Console, the reason being that the data is no longer necessary.
- The Ad Experience widget is also being removed. This is a way for Google to avoid displaying identical information on multiple reports. But it won’t be goodbye – the Ad Experience Report will still be available in Search Console. Also, Ad Experience isn’t a ranking signal and, as such, will not affect Page Experience.
- The Page Experience Report is being improved. A bug that caused a “Failing HTTPS” warning when Core Web Vitals data was missing has been fixed, and a “No recent data” banner has been added to both the Page Experience and Core Web Vitals reports.
With Safe Browsing out of the picture, that’s one less factor to worry about in optimizing your site for the Page Experience Update. But don’t kick up your feet just yet, because there’s still work to be done before the end of August. If you’re scrambling to tie up loose ends, consider consulting a reliable Page Experience guide to work on the metrics that matter.
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