Study reveals few websites meet Google’s Core Web Vitals

Posted on August 13, 2020

 

Last month, Google announced its latest ranking factor change, Core Web Vitals. We covered what they are, when they’re being released and everything else we know so far here. Now, new data from a study by Screaming Frog has revealed that less than 15% of websites actually meet the criteria set and can pass a Core Web Vitals assessment.

Over 20,000 site URLs and 2,500 keywords were analysed by the search marketing company. The results concluded that only 13% of desktop sites and 12% of mobile sites met the necessary benchmarks.

To summarise, the benchmarks of Core Web Vitals are the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), First Input Delay (FID) and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) of a website. It’s all to do with user experience, and if a website doesn’t make the cut, it won’t make it to Google Top Stories and its rankings could dramatically decrease. Therefore, with so few websites meeting the necessary criteria, we could see a massive shift in the search results.

The results did reveal that when assessing websites against the individual benchmarks, they fared better. For FID, around 89% of mobile URLs passed, becoming interactive within 100 milliseconds. For desktop URLS, this number increased further, with 99% of URLs making the cut. Interactivity is a pivotal part of a website, and so these figures are promising.

URLs fared much worse against the other two benchmarks, however. Measuring CLS, 47% of desktop and 46% of mobile URLs met the benchmark, with unexpected layout shifts less than 0.1. LCP was the lowest met criteria. Screaming Frog found only 44% of desktop URLs load within 2.5 seconds of page landing, and for mobile, this figure dropped to 43%.

Therefore, website owners have a lot of work to do in preventing layout shifts and increasing their site’s loading speed. However, they do not need to panic just yet, though. Currently, Core Web Vitals aren’t affecting search rankings. They are expected to be introduced in 2021, which means websites have plenty of time to prepare and ensure they meet the criteria.

If you need assistance in boosting your website’s rankings or preparing your website for the Core Web Vitals release, get in touch with our team at Engage Web today.

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