- Nico Bistolfi
When Google makes changes to its algorithm and ranking factors, everyone notices (or you should notice). Google makes a new announcement of the Core Web Vitals or named just Web Vitals as well, that will be the key ranking factor in May 2021.
When they announce and make an updated public, is because it's important. They want to encourage people to apply changes to their websites as on as possible. Google looks to optimize and deliver an amazing experience to its users, solving the user's fast and high-quality problems. All that Google wants is to answer the user's questions with an unforgettable website experience. Here you could check another important Google algorithm update.
This set of 3 metrics were designed to help website measure the user experience they’re delivering when it comes to loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
Basically, when your visitors interact with your website, Google measures how the experience is in terms of speed and how fast and easily they can interact with it. Core Web Vitals are not focused especially on the web text; it's more about how useful the website for the user is, and that's what we call UX.
How to analyze the Core Web Vitals of my website?
Load time is not the only metric that Google analyzes for ranking. Let's get deep into the 3 main metrics of the Core Web Vitals:
Taken from https://web.dev/vitals/
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) - how long does the heaviest visual content for the user to load. Measures loading performance.
- First Input Delay (FID) - how long takes the website to respond from the moment the user clicks on it until the event the user is expecting occurs. Eg: typing on a form.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) - how much-unexpected layout shift of visual page content. The CLS measures visual stability.
See all the ideal metrics parameters you should have on the infography bellow.
Maybe you have heard about First Contentful Paint (FCP) - how fast your site loads. But it's not only about speed, it's also about quality. If your content loads fast but blurry it's not a good metric for Google to rank. If you focus on LCP, you are going to fix the FCP automatically. Don't forget about FCP but invest your energy improving LCP ;)
How to test and track the Core Web Vitals?
It's important to test and audit your website. There are some tools that help you to measure and improve the Core Web Vitals scores and page performance as well.
To track the Core Web Vitals of your website you should:
- Run a Page Speed Insight Test to analyze your Core Web Vitals Score- It's the official Google audit analysis tool, that provides suggestions on how to improve web performance. You will get clear metrics to measure and boost your web vitals.
- Run an Image Speed Test- It's a very powerful and complementary tool to audit your website focused on images. The IST would help you to understand all the opportunities regarding images. It's very useful and adds a lot of value to eCommerce sites or to websites with a lot of images.
- Use GTMetrix to have more data, you can learn to read the Waterfall. It allows you to visualize the different resources that are being loaded for your website and identify potential roadblocks.
- Check Google Search Console’s Core Web Vitals report to monitor opportunities to improve. It gives you an overview of how your site is doing. You can see how important the Core Web Vitals for Google are because they developed a special section.
Measuring and collecting Web Vitals data, could require some code changes. If you are not very familiar with some of these terms, you should read this starter guidance.
Remember, all that Google is looking for Google page ranking is to show answers to their users and give them an amazing experience as fast as possible. Make everything you can to like Google ;) then Google will like you and the love will begin.
Why we should take care of the Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are the way Google could measure the quality experience and rank your website on top. "We announced that page experience signals would be included in Google Search ranking" published Google.
It's important to Optimize web performance and keep an eye on your metrics every day. It isn't enough to improve them and forget about them. Start working on the Core Web Vitals and discover how to improve them below!
Core Web Vitals will afect my SEO?
They already are! But they are becoming more and more important for SEO. Core Web Vitals will be one of the SEO ranking factors and will affect mobile and desktop results. Remember your deadline is May 2021, but if you start from now, Google probably will like that ;) Don't ignore it and take advantage to appear in Top Stories.
Google will continue supporting AMP websites
Google announced that non-AMP pages will have chances to appear in Top Stories up to May 2021.
All websites that match Google News content policies will highly probably appear in the Top Stories carousel. Websites that offer a high-level experience will be prioritized in the ranking.
Core Web Vitals suggestions
- Keep in mind the main goal for Google: Optimize and deliver an amazing experience solving the user's problems fast and with high-quality content, related to the user's search intentions.
- Stop focusing on Page Load or Page Weight. Start focusing on how to improve your web performance and the user experience.
- Keep an eye on your Website Performance- and not just for a couple of weeks. Set an alarm or receive an email with your report.
- Don’t try to solve everything- Prioritize.
- Involve your team, tell which are your goals in terms of performance.
You still have a couple of months to test, implement, and analyze, but make changes as soon as possible to be Google friendly. Involve your team and give time to the developers and IT team to analyze the elements. Some solutions such as Piio could help you to achieve better metrics and ensure you're on the right track.
Core Web Vitals are going to be one the keys to the SEO ranking of Google search results.
If you want to read more about FCP and Page Load time, check this article!