Say Goodbye To The Page Experience And Mobile Usability Reports

Google has announced the removal of the Page Experience Report, Mobile Usability report, the Mobile-Friendly Test tool, and Mobile-Friendly Test API in Search Console
Marie Aquino
April 20, 2023

With the addition of page experience in the documentation for helpful content, it looks like more changes are on the way.

In the announcement, it was mentioned that the Page Experience Report in Search Console will be transformed into a new page linking to the general guidance on page experience, plus a dashboard-view of the individual Core Web Vitals and HTTPS reports that will still remain in Search Console.

Aside from this, starting December 1, 2023, they will also be retiring Search Console’s Mobile Usability report, the Mobile-Friendly Test tool, and Mobile-Friendly Test API. They included that the removal of these features and tools does not mean that mobile usability isn’t important, it remains critical for users who are using mobile devices. However, there are many other resources for evaluating mobile usability that has emerged that can be used to test the mobile-friendliness of a site. A particular example mentioned is Lighthouse from Chrome.

These changes may come as a shock for some, especially since page experience and the core web vitals, have been a hot topic for the past year so much so that there is even a “Page Experience Update”.

Here are some FAQs provided by Google on these changes coming up:

Without the Page Experience report, how do I know if my site provides a great page experience? 
The page experience report was intended as a general guidepost of some metrics that aligned with good page experience, not as a comprehensive assessment of all the different aspects. Those seeking to provide a good page experience should take an holistic approach, including following some of our self-assessment questions covered on our Understanding page experience in Google Search results page.

Is there a single “page experience signal” that Google Search uses for ranking? 
There is no single signal. Our core ranking systems look at a variety of signals that align with overall page experience.

Page experience signals had been listed as Core Web Vitals, mobile-friendly, HTTPS and no intrusive interstitials. Are these signals still used in search rankings? 
While not all of these may be directly used to inform ranking, we do find that all of these aspects of page experience align with success in search ranking, and are worth attention

Are Core Web Vitals still important? 
We highly recommend site owners achieve good Core Web Vitals for success with Search and to ensure a great user experience generally. However, great page experience involves more than Core Web Vitals. Good stats within the Core Web Vitals report in Search Console or third-party Core Web Vitals reports don’t guarantee good rankings.

What does this mean for the “page experience update”? 
The page experience update was a concept to describe a set of key page experience aspects for site owners to focus on. In particular, it introduced Core Web Vitals as a new signal that our core ranking systems considered, along with other page experience signals such as HTTPS that they’d already been considering. It was not a separate ranking system, and it did not combine all these signals into one single “page experience” signal.

Is good page experience required to appear in the “Top stories” carousel on mobile? 
Page experience is not an eligibility requirement to appear anywhere in the “Top stories” section. As long as content meets Google News best practices and Google News policies, our automated systems may consider it.

Is page experience evaluated on a site-wide or page-specific basis? 
Our core ranking systems generally evaluate content on a page-specific basis, including when understanding aspects related to page experience. However, we do have some site-wide assessments.

Does page experience factor into the helpful content system? 
The helpful content system is primarily focused on signals related to content, rather than presentation and page experience. However, just as our core ranking systems consider signals that align with good page experience, so does the helpful content system, to a degree.

How important is page experience to ranking success? 
Google Search always seeks to show the most relevant content, even if the page experience is sub-par. But for many queries, there is lots of helpful content available. Having a great page experience can contribute to success in Search, in such cases.

It would also be helpful to check on the updated guidance on page experience here.