Google drops safe browsing as a page experience ranking signal

Google is removing the safe browsing signal from the Google page experience update, the company announced. Google said “we recognize that these issues aren’t always within the control of site owners, which is why we’re clarifying that Safe Browsing isn’t used as a ranking signal and won’t feature in the Page Experience report.”

As a reminder, the page experience update is rolling out, it has been since June 15th and will continue to roll out through the end of August.

New page experience diagram. Here is the new diagram that removes “safe browsing” from the list of page experience signals:

You can compare it to the original diagram:

Why is Google removing safe browsing. Google said it is removing this as a signal because these are issues that are not always in the control of site owners. Google said “sometimes sites fall victim to third-party hijacking.” Google will continue to flag these notifications in Search Console but outside of the page experience report.

Google is also removing the Ad Experience widget, Google said “to avoid surfacing the same information on two parts of Search Console.” But Ad experience was never used in the Google page experience update.

More changes to the page experience report. Google made additional changes to the page experience report including:

  • Added a “No recent data” banner to the Core Web Vitals report and Page Experience report.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the report to show “Failing HTTPS” when Core Web Vitals data was missing.
  • Rephrased the empty state text in the Page Experience report and Core Web Vitals report.

Why we care. This is one less ranking signal and factor you need to worry about when it comes to your performance in Google Search. Of course, you don’t want to provide an unsafe browsing experience for your users, but you can still learn about those in Search Console, but it won’t count against you in your rankings.

About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.

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