Google’s Core Web Vitals set to make algorithm change

Posted on July 29, 2020

 

Google has announced a new ranking factor change to its algorithm: Core Web Vitals.

Set to launch in 2021, Core Web Vitals is joining Google’s Page Experience signals, a group of metrics that focuses on user experience. Experience metrics can span from how fast a page loads, to whether it’s mobile friendly, to the speed of it being interactive, to HTTPS and more.

This new ranking factor will affect all search results, whether on desktop or mobile. In addition, it will be necessary for a page to fulfil the Core Web Vitals criteria in order to appear in Google Top Stories. Therefore, this announcement has the potential to seriously affect ranking results.

While there are hundreds of ranking signals Google uses, which could lead people to believe that the addition of one more isn’t that important, Google’s studies have shown that users are 24% less likely to abandon a site if it meets the minimum thresholds of Core Web Vitals – so it’s worth paying attention to and checking your website fits the bill.

So, what will be measured with Core Web Vitals?

1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – Google will be looking at how fast a website loads, which can be impacted by the size of the content on the page, the server time, JavaScript, CSS and more.

2. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – With CLS, Google will be measuring the time it takes for a page to become stable upon loading, with no layout shifts. This can be impacted by, for example, animations and undefined image sizes in the site’s HTML code.

3. First Input Delay (FID) – FID involves Google looking at the speed of a page becoming interactive – specifically, how fast a page produces a result when a user clicks a JavaScript event or button.

Google has announced that in the wake of COVID-19, it will be delaying the release of Core Web Vitals until some point in 2021. It has promised a minimum of six months’ notice for websites to prepare, and as of yet, no notice has been posted.

If you want to ensure your website gives the best user experience and fulfils the Core Web Vitals, you can go onto the Core Web Vitals report on Google Console.

Alternatively, you could hand over your website management to the team here at Engage Web. Our team can take care of everything from building your website, to fulfilling the Core Web Vitals criteria, to creating site content and providing SEO. Contact our team today to learn more about the services we offer.

Emily Jones

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