Core Web Vitals are Google’s latest move to reward websites who provide a positive user experience. User experience has been a constant theme in the last few years of Google Algorithm Updates as they look to reward websites that delight visitors, or at the very least don’t frustrate them. We all know how frustrating it can be when you visit a website which takes an age to load, or the content jumps around as different images drop in meaning you click something you didn’t mean to. This is exactly what Google is trying to avoid with the Core Web Vitals mechanism which will become a contributor to the ranking algorithm from June 2021.
Core Web Vitals History
Google has long maintained Page Speed and other user experience factors had an influence on the sites that they ranked highly in the index. In November 2020 it went one step further in its announcement that its Core Web Vitals scores would be including Page Experience Signals in ranking from May 2021 (subsequently moved to June 2021). In the announcement on the Google Developer Blog stated that Google “believe(s) that providing information about the quality of a web page’s experience can be helpful to users in choosing the search result that they want to visit. On results, the snippet or image preview helps provide topical context for users to know what information a page can provide. Visual indicators on the results are another way to do the same, and we are working on one that identifies pages that have met all of the page experience criteria.” Suggesting that not only will Core Web Vitals become a ranking factor, but there would be visual clues as to the listing providing the better experience, thus potentially increasing click through rates to those scoring more highly.
Google has subsequently pushed back the release to June 2021, but many businesses will still get a shock if they check their Core Web Vitals scores.
What is Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are a collection of 3 core page level metrics which are used to assess the usability and user friendliness of the page. The three key metrics are:
- Cumulative Layout Shift – In simple terms how much does the layout shift around as the page elements load in the viewport.
- First Input Delay – A measure of interactivity. How long before the page is ready to interact. This doesn’t have to be the whole page, but enough to enable the user to use it.
- Largest Contentful Paint – This is a score for how long before the largest content elements in a viewport have loaded. This could be a block of text or an image.
In addition to these three key factors, if you score your page and site using Google’s Lighthouse tool or Page Speed Insights you will get scores for First Contentful Paint, Total Blocking Time and Page Speed Index. Whilst not officially Core Web Vitals these are also key metrics to consider.
What is a Good Core Web Vitals Score?
Each element of Core Web Vitals contributes a different share to your overall score, and each has its own measure for poor, improvement needed, and good.
FID Scores: for First Input Delay, a good score is 100ms or less, and a poor one would be 300ms or more.
Cumulative Layout Shift: A good score is 0.1 or less, and poor score is 0.25 or more.
Largest Contentful Paint: Largest Contentful Paint is good at less than 2.5 seconds, and poor at more than 4.0 seconds.
You can check your score using Google Pagespeed Insights, and understand how to improve it.
Need Help from a Core Web Vitals Consultant? Drop Me a Message
How To Get a Good Core Web Vitals Score
Unfortunately there is now single answer to that question. You need to pay attention to the Core Web Vitals elements, use the tools made available by Google and amend your website to improve it. This could mean removing some images from the page, introducing lazy loading to out of screen elements, or shifting the layout of your pages entirely. It all depends on where you are current falling down. Below are some of the Core Web Vitals scores from website I have worked on an optimised. As a Core Web Vitals Consultant I will be able to identify the key elements for improvements within your site and work on introducing the technical changes required to improve your score.
How Important are Core Web Vitals?
Google has made a big deal about the introduction of Core Web Vitals. And the announcement it is going to have an influence on the SEO rankings but in terms of position and visual indicators is a big deal in the world of SEO. If you run your website through Google Page Speed Insights, or check your Core Web Vitals in Google Search Console and see bad results, you have a short amount of time to get it fixed.
And if you are visiting this page after June 2021 and saw a drop off in SEO traffic, well you could have found the culprit.
If you need help from a Core Web Vitals Consultant to improve your scores and avoid them affecting your rankings, then you have also come to the right place. Drop me a message with your website URL and I will provide a no obligation quote for getting your scores in back where they need to be.