If you do business online, staying on top of the Google June 2019 Core Update…
Core Web Vitals: What You Need to Know About Google’s Next Ranking Factor
Search engines want to provide users with accurate information as quickly and smoothly as possible.
It should come as no surprise that then Google will soon make Core Web Vitals, metrics that focus on user experience, a major ranking factor in search engine results.
In this blog post, we’re going to discuss what Core Web Vitals is along with the separate metrics it’s composed of.
Let’s get started.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals is an upcoming ranking signal that looks at how a page loads and how it affects user experience.
It looks at and measures three main metrics.
LCP or Largest Contentful Paint measure how quickly the largest element on a webpage loads. Let’s say the largest element on your homepage is an image. If it loads slowly, users will think that you have a slow website, resulting in negative user experience.
FID or First Input Delay measures how long it takes for the browser to react to a user’s first interaction with your website. The first interaction could be a user click on a link or button.
CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift measures how stable your website is as it loads. Elements like images and text usually move around a page as they load, but it’s important that remain in place to avoid a negative user experience.
For example, if a user is about to click on a link but an image suddenly loads above it, the link will move down the page. The user might end up clicking on something else.
These three metrics are expected to work hand-in-hand with existing page experience signals, including mobile-friendliness, website security, website speed, and more.
However, websites should continue to provide informative and accurate content. According to Google’s page experience guide, “Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall, even if the page experience is subpar. Great page experience doesn’t override having great page content. However, in cases where many pages may be similar in relevance, page experience can be much more important for visibility in Search.”
In a nutshell, improving Core Web Vitals and other page experience signals could help your search engine rankings, but you still need to continue publishing excellent content. All these different factors need to come together.
Measuring Core Web Vitals
Google currently doesn’t have a complete tool that measures all the page experience signals. They recommend using Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, Chrome UX Report, and Chrome DevTools. Some of these tools might be too complicated for beginners and may require professional assistance.
Google Search Console is perfect if you don’t have much coding knowledge but would still like to measure your Core Web Vitals, we recommend using Google Search Console. It’s a tool created by Google that lets you check if your webpages have been indexed. It also helps you optimise your website better.
In May 2020, Google Search Console added a new feature specifically for measuring Core Web Vitals.
If you haven’t used Google Search Console before, you will need to add your website first. Log in using your Google account, enter your URL, and click on Continue. It will then ask you to prove that you own the website.
You can verify ownership by downloading an HTML file and uploading it to your site, adding lines of code to your homepage, or connecting Google Search Console with your Google Analytics account.
Once you’ve verified your account, click on Core Web Vitals under Enhancements on the sidebar. Your desktop and mobile Core Web Vitals will be scored differently.
Webpages will be scored separately and can be given rated as Poor, Needs Improvement, or Good. You can click on Open Report to see more details about issues that need to be addressed.
If using Google Search Console sounds too difficult, you can try using the Web Vitals Chrome extension. It can measure the Core Web Vitals of any website you visit. The circle next to each metric will turn red, yellow, or green depending on how well the website performs. It also measures each metric in seconds.
Before you begin improving your Core Web Vitals, we highly recommend using either Google Search Console or the Web Vitals extension to measure where you currently stand. This way, you can track if your efforts are paying off or not.
Search engines are focusing more and more on providing an excellent user experience, so it makes sense that Google will soon roll out Core Web Vitals. These new ranking factors are completely focused on how a website loads and how positive the user experience is.
Even if experts say Core Web Vitals aren’t rolling out for another six months, it’s important to start preparing in advance. This way, you ensure that you don’t see a sudden drop in rankings once the ranking factor is launched.
If you’d like to improve your Core Web Vitals, we’d love to help. Cornerstone Digital is an SEO agency in Sydney that can help you find your ideal customer via SEO. Call us on (02) 8211 0668 or email us at [email protected]
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.