We have been hearing from Google for several years about how it uses page loading speed as a ranking aspect, and we’ve been designing, revising, and revamping our websites ever since.
Starting from next year, Google is rolling out a new ranking aspect that takes a more granular way to page speed: Core Web Vitals. What does this mean for you and your website? Here are all there is to know about it!
What Are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are a set of specific factors that Google considers crucial in a website’s total user experience. Core Web Vitals are comprised of three specific page speed and user interaction measurements: largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift.
In short, Core Web Vitals are a subset of elements that will belong to Google’s “page experience” rating (generally, Google’s way of measuring your page’s total UX).
You can discover your website’s Core Web Vitals information in the “enhancements” section of your Google Search Console account.
The 2021 Impact of Core Web Vitals
Just in case you missed out on Google’s first or second announcement about Core Web Vitals: Google Search Console is now able to quantitatively reveal to aweb designers their areas for enhancement surrounding user experiences, like loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
These Core Web Vitals will become direct Google ranking signals starting from May of 2021. While Google has been noting the significance of user experience for several years, these 2 statements have raised the stakes by putting sites’ SERP visibility on the line.
Apart from that, websites with “poor” Core Web Vitals, Google will make ineligible for the practical “Top Stories” carousel, and eliminate its previous AMP eligibility requirement. (SEO experts for news publications may want to pay unique follow here.). However, Google has not announced the actual ranking changes that SEO pros can get out of this upcoming signal.
How to Discover Your Ranking
Google won’t begin utilizing Core Web Vitals as ranking factors until the upcoming page experience update in 2021, and you can start working on improving these metrics now.
Google grades each of the metrics described above as Good, Needs Improvement, or Fail. You can discover your Core Web Vitals report in the Google Search Console, which breaks down your page efficiency by URL.
Once you’ve found the report, you can go to the overview page and toggle in between the tabs for each of the 3 grades to see the URLs on your site that are carrying out well and the ones that need to be worked on, and these can be broken down by desktop or mobile.
What Core Web Vitals Mean For Your Website
Google prepares to make a page experience the main Google ranking element. Page experience will be a mishmash of factors that Google thinks about important for user experience, including:
– Lack of interstitial pop-ups
– “Safe-browsing” (essentially, not having malware on your page)
And Core Web Vitals will be an extremely important part of that score. Evaluating by the announcement and the name itself, it’s fair to state that core web vitals will make up the greatest chunk of your page experience score.
It’s important to explain that a good page experience rating won’t magically push you to the #1 spot in Google. Google was quick to point out that page experience is one of several (approximately 200) aspects that they use to rank sites in search.
That said, there’s no need to be alarmed. Google mentioned that you still more than 4 months to improve your site’s Core Web Vital ratings.
It’s easy to get irritated when you find out you’ve got to start representing yet another new ranking aspect, but Core Web Vitals show what we need to be doing anyway, developing websites that are usable and functional.
Even if Google wasn’t utilizing these metrics for ranking, having a site with poor user experience naturally drives people away.
With numerous options readily available, users are most likely to just strike the back button and find another website than remain on a site that’s easy to utilize. Unlike a lot of other algorithm changes that seem approximate, Core Web Vitals is one that really does help us build much better websites.