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Google and the Core Web Vitals

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Earlier this year the long-awaited Google page experience algorithm update was rolled out to all users globally.
Completed around the end of August 2021, A major part of this update was Google confirming three specific metrics that are important for sites to provide a positive experience – these 3 metrics are known as the Core Web Vitals, and they now form an important part of the Google algorithm becoming important to future search engine positioning.

In an announcement, a member of the Google team stated:

“We’ll begin using page experience as part of our ranking systems beginning in mid-June 2021. However, page experience won’t play its full role as part of those systems until the end of August.”
Understanding how important this latest alteration to the ranking algorithm is, we must now try and understand what its main elements are and this may answer the requirements needed to improve any websites potential position within its market sector online.
Of course, these elements are important however, they are not the only items that need improving and therefore, the original ‘housekeeping’ elements that we have always managed must still be completed as part of a methodical and on theme improvement.

So, what are these Core Web Vitals?

There are three specific areas to consider:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This metric measures the time it takes for the main content on a web page to appear to users. Google recommends an LCP of under 2.5 seconds.
  2. First Input Delay (FID): FID measures your web page’s response time when a user interacts with the page for the first time. This includes link clicks, button taps, and custom JavaScript actions. Google recommends an FID of under 100 milliseconds.
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This measures the number of layout shifts that unexpectedly move the main content of the web page. These shifts affect the user’s ability to read content and interact with the page properly. Google recommends a CLS score of 0.1 or less.

The idea behind the page experience update is to consider signals that go into creating an optimal browsing experience for all users. The first rollout will be aimed at mobile derivatives, given that Google is now a mobile-first search index. This does not mean that the desktop version of a web portfolio will be ignored, this Google says will come later.

Google will assess each of these signals and provide an overall ‘page experience’ score. Site owners can view their score in the new page experience report in the Google Search Console.

Final Thoughts

If you are not sure how well your website performs for users and are consequently unsure as to how this new algorithm experience will view your website, there are many opportunities to review your top pages’ using the associated Core Web Vitals reporting tools. If you are still unsure, then simply approach our team and we will provide an initial report completely free of charge.

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