Google this year has provided one of the biggest updates to how web pages are ranked. The much-awaited update of Core Web Vitals assumed its full role in June 2021.
Businesses that value SEO, online visibility, and brand awareness should learn more about it to revolutionise the way SEO is done.
What is Google’s New Update About?
We know that Google serves as a search engine that smartly matches a user’s problem with the best available results. Previously this process was highly semantic: Google’s algorithm would provide the user with high-quality content relating to the search intent. It also considered and allowed safe browsing, mobile friendliness, and sound signals. But now, the process has become highly fascinating with Core Web Vitals.
What are Google’s Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are certain factors that Google perceives as necessary in a specific web page’s user experience. Incorporating Core Web Vitals in the form of a ranking signal allows ranking differently. Websites that fail to use the desired practices are given a much lesser ranking score than websites that employ such practices.
How do Core Web Vitals Work?
While SEO appreciates original, unique, and appropriate content, Google will also play a role in evaluating your website's performance by analysing how well users can interact with your website. It makes use of metrics focused on users, created solely to measure your page’s level of user experience with regards to making the interaction seamless. In this way, Google focuses more on user experience as an SEO factor.
Three New Core Web Vitals
Google has introduced three new Core Web Vitals that it uses to determine the user experience score of a website. The advanced algorithm now analyses the smallest of details in websites' analysis, such as visual stability, the loading speed of the content, and the level of interactivity.
First: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
To explain this complicated Core Web Vital in simple terms, it refers to the average time it takes to load the content found on the main page. The main content includes text as well as media. Google employs LCP to analyse how fast the meaningful content on the main page loads. LCP also helps indicate the perceived or expected loading speed which means the time the main content takes to be visible.
Why is LCP Important?
You need an acceptable LCP score if you aim to provide the best user experience to your clients. The chances of the audience staying on your page is higher when the content loading time is less. From your own experience, how many times have you clicked on a website but ended up leaving just because the content was taking too much time to appear?
Second: First Input Delay (FID)
The second metric that Google uses is First Input Delay (FID). This measures the time between a user inputting a command or action and the page completing it. The first input includes clicking links, pressing keys or buttons. According to Google, the ideal FID score is 100 milliseconds, and a score of 300ms negatively impacts your SEO performance.
How Can You Improve FID?
You can improve FID by decreasing the potential impact of a third-party code. For example, have you noticed that a page loads much slowly after adding analytics software or A/B testing? To resolve problems like these, businesses try and break extensive java scripts into smaller ones and even compress CSS files.
Third: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
The third and last Core Web Vital is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). The purpose of this metric is to measure the stability of your page while it loads. Have you ever noticed how links and images tend to shift down when a website is loading? This shows that it has a high CLS score, making the page elements visually unstable.
Why is Visual Stability Important?
Visual stability has an integral role in enhancing a user’s experience and increases your website’s overall SEO performance. CLS also prevents users from making accidental clicks and end up getting frustrated when they’re shifted to a page that is the least of their concern.
The new Google algorithm is slowly adopting an approach that is more user-centric when it comes to ranking websites. As a result of Google’s Core Web Vitals, websites can perform better in terms of content loading time, visual stability, and first input delay. If you need help with your website SEO, contact us today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Core Web Vitals are important because they provide a quantifiable measure of user experience on a web page. They help site owners understand how their sites perform in terms of speed, responsiveness, and visual stability, which are crucial factors for user engagement and satisfaction.
Google has incorporated Core Web Vitals into its search ranking algorithm. This means that websites with good Core Web Vitals scores may have a better chance of ranking higher in Google's search results, all other factors being equal.
Google provides several tools to measure Core Web Vitals, including Google Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, and Lighthouse. These tools provide a dedicated report to help site owners quickly identify opportunities for improvement.
While all components of page experience are important, Google prioritises pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. However, in cases where there are multiple pages with similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search.
Previously, Google's Top Stories feature emphasised AMP results. However, with the introduction of Core Web Vitals, AMP is no longer necessary for stories to be featured in Top Stories on mobile. Page experience, including Core Web Vitals, has become a ranking factor in Top Stories.
Optimising for Core Web Vitals is an ongoing process. Google continues to work on identifying and measuring aspects of page experience and plans to incorporate more page experience signals on a yearly basis. This means that site owners should regularly monitor their Core Web Vitals and make necessary improvements.