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Core Web Vitals? Not just yet, says Google

Posted on April 27, 2021

 

Earlier this year, we wrote a series of blogs about Google Core Web Vitals and its three main components – Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FID) – with a nagging reminder in each that Google intends to make these metrics part of its ranking algorithm in May this year.

May, you say? But that’s next week! Well, if you haven’t yet got to grips with this trio of metrics yet, the good news is that Google is giving you a little more time, but you still need to get a move on!

A blog post from Google last week has confirmed that the rollout of its so-called “page experience update” will now be a more gradual one. Moreover, it now won’t start until mid-June, and isn’t expected to be complete until late August.

Google hasn’t given a specific reason for delaying the rollout, although the blog post notes that it will hopefully allow webmasters to “continue to make refinements”, so it seems like another example of the familiar Google tactic of broadcasting a deadline to prompt us into action, but then softening the deadline as it nears – perhaps applied most notably in the case of mobile-first indexing. To explain the gradual implementation, the post also uses a quirky analogy of preparing a meal, and how it’s better to add the flavourings one at a time than put them all in at once.

The search engine also points out that we shouldn’t anticipate “drastic changes” in search rankings once the updates take effect, and that it’s simply a measure to favour sites that offer excellent user experience. So, despite their techy names and imposing abbreviations, these components are really nothing to fear.

Nonetheless, we recommend you read our three blogs and aim to understand what Google is trying to achieve with the updates, and consider whether your site ticks the boxes. If you’re not sure, we at Engage Web have been building sites with a view towards meeting Google’s Core Web Vitals preferences for some time. For intuitive web design that both Google and your visitors will appreciate, why not get in touch?

John Murray
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