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Core Web Vitals: The Next Official Google Ranking Factor

Core Web Vitals The Next Official Google Ranking Factor

Social media platforms are constantly updating themselves to give users a better and friendly experience then why should Google, the world’s greatest search engine not. Google has been constantly revamping its search algorithms to give its users a fast and innovative experience. Over the years, we have witnessed many major algorithm updates, as Google worked to keep us on our toes. The beginning of 2021 was no different, Google explained what to expect when Core Web Vitals become a ranking signal and what you should expect out of it in your SEO game.

What are core web vitals?

It’s an initiative started by Google to provide solid unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web results. So it is nothing but Google search console’s new way of measuring a web page’s user experience that is considered as one of the key ranking factors in 2021.

Considering this, Danny Sullivan from Google recently revealed that the expected ranking impact of the May 2021 Page Experience Update will incorporate Core Web vitals as a major ranking factor. Danny announced this within the recent Search Central Live Fireside Chat.

How core web vitals influence rankings?

Google’s ranking factor is going to affect all regular search results including mobile and desktop, based on certain criteria. But also another important thing to consider is that Core Web Vitals are going to become a criterion to appear in Google Top Stories. So these are the news results that will appear at the top of search results.

Previously, Accelerated Mobile Pages was a requirement to appear in those particular Top Stories but somehow it is going away. So you still have to meet the requirements for regular Google News inclusion, but AMP will not be a requirement anymore  that will appear in Top Stories. But you are going to have to meet a minimum threshold of Core Web Vitals.

So that’s an important point which could potentially affect a lot of ranking results

What are the three signals for Core Web Vitals?

Core web vitals are technical to understand and that’s why many people seem to avoid it so far. But it’s more important to understand the vitals briefly since it will influence the website experience for the users. That’s why we need to know how to measure, identify problems, and fix these things if they happen to be wrong. Here are the three main signals that go into Core Web Vitals. 

1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

The first web vital is referred to as the largest contentful paint (LCP) which is nothing but how fast does the page actually load. This is highly influenced by the render time, the largest image, video, text in the viewport.

That’s what Google is considering to look at it in a better way. The largest thing whether it be a desktop page or a mobile page, the largest piece of content, whether it be an image, video or text, how fast does a particular web page take to load? You need to understand that page load can be influenced by your server time, your CSS, JavaScript and rendering.

2. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

The second important web vital is cumulative layout shift (CLS). Here Google needs to know how fast the page is stable. We’ve all had an experience where we’ve loaded a page on our mobile phone, and at the last minute it shifts to something else or something in the page layout has an unexpected layout shift.

That’s a poor user experience. So that’s what Google is measuring with cumulative layout shift. How can it be fast so that everything is stable? The number one reason that things aren’t stable is that image sizes often aren’t defined. So if you have an image and it’s 400 pixels wide and tall, those need to be defined in the HTML. There are other reasons as well, such as animations and things like that.

3. First Input Delay (FID)

The third and most important Core Web Vitals metrics is first input delay. So the question is basically how fast is the page interactive? To put it another way, when a user clicks on something, a button or a JavaScript event, how fast can the browser start to process that and produce a result? It’s not a good experience when you click on something and nothing happens or it’s very slow. So that’s what that’s Google is measuring.

Core Web Vitals are the most prominent ranking news in 2021. But we should keep in mind that search is an extremely volatile field: what worked two weeks ago may not work today, and what works today might not work for most of us. This is why it’s crucial to keep our hands on the latest optimization news and changes occurring every single day. Share your thoughts on the latest core web vitals and let us know how you’re going to incorporate them in upcoming business strategies.