March 15 2021

Google’s Core Web Vitals

Google Core Web VitalsIf you’ve been following the ever-changing scope of Google products, you may have heard of the introduction of Core Web Vitals that was announced back in 2020. Core Web Vitals are a collection of high-ranking search metrics that verify whether or not your website is safe, secure, and user friendly – to name a few. Here are the latest Core Web Vital updates to look out for:

7 Core Web Vitals

Before Core Web Vitals, Google used other sets of vitals to determine the validity of a page’s user experience. These vitals included:

  • Mobile friendliness
  • Ability of safe browsing
  • Data encryption via an SSL (HTTPS)
  • No intrusive interstitials

With the expanse of the internet and technology over the years, Google found it beneficial to expand these vitals and create 3 additional ones – aka, Core Web Vitals. These new additions are:

  • Loading – Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – How long it takes for a page’s content to load. An ideal speed is 2.5 seconds or faster. LCP is quite different than other page speed metrics because it measures what a user experiences themselves when opening up a page. You can measure your LCP score on Google PageSpeed Insights.

  • Interactivity – First Input Delay (FID) – How long it takes for a page to register as interactive. An ideal speed is less than 100 ms. This means that a user is able to choose a menu option, enter their email into a form, or open up accordion menus as efficiently as possible.

  • Visual Stability – Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – How many times a page layout shifts while loading content. An ideal score is anything less than 0.1. Typical errors occur on webpages when images about bigger than 400 pixels tall and wide.

What About Our Webpages?

If you are looking to measure the quality of your website before Google’s Core update rolls out, you’re in luck. Tackling any issues can be done in Google’s Search Console where a new type of report lives titled “Core Web Vitals” (real creative, Google!). Every report pulled in Search Console will link to a report in Page Speed Insights which can help you discover any problems with your website that need optimization.

When Will Strategies Need to Change?

A good user experience derives from all seven of these vitals, with Core Web Vitals weighing the heaviest. But now is not the time to panic about your website strategy. Google won’t definitively start ranking pages this way until sometime later in 2021 and will provide several months’ notice before it’s rolled out.

What Should We Expect?

Google has hundreds of ranking signals when creating their search engine results pages (SERPs) which means that an update like this won’t create large wakes around us. However, if your website is majorly lacking in its overall SEO strategy, an update like this one it may make a difference. Therefore, even without these updates, it’s important to provide an effective SEO strategy in order for your website to rank well, offer a better user experience, and show up on potential new customer’s Google SERP’s.

Once Google’s new Core Web Vitals officially launches, we will have a generous six-month period to get ready and optimize as much as possible. Not sure where to start? Let a SEO expert at ZAG help guide you and your website in the right direction.

  • SEO

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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