On May 28th, 2020, Google has announced an upcoming change to search rankings that will include Core Web Vitals.
Earlier this month, Google has defined a set of metrics related to speed, responsiveness, and visual stability that site owners should pay attention to when optimizing their website. Those metrics, known as Core Web Vitals, along with the existing page experience signals will be incorporated as ranking signals as of next year.
Although the new update will roll out only next year, Google has provided guidelines on how to start preparing for the change.
What will be added to the existing page experience metrics?
Google has long been prioritizing websites that provide good user experience. Currently, it uses “mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines” as its page ranking signals but with the new update the following metrics would be added as well:
- Largest Contentful Paint – the time it takes for the page’s main content to load. The ideal load time is below 2.5 seconds.
- First Input Delay – the time it takes for the page to become responsive. It should be less than 100 seconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift – the amount of unexpected layout shift of visible page content. The cumulative layout shift should be below 0.1
How to measure your website for core web vitals?
You can now find information and recommendation on Core Web Vital on Google’s developer tools like Lighthouse, PageSpeed Insights, Google UX Report, Chrome Dev Tools, Web Vitals Extension. For example, PageSpeed Insights will show whether your website passes the Core Web Vitals assessment and recommend optimizations accordingly.
Furthermore, Google Search Console has now a dedicated report to help webmasters quickly identify UX optimization opportunities.
While the importance of page experience signals is steadily increasing, Google notes that a good page experience will not override having relevant, quality content. Although, if multiple pages with similar content compete for rankings, page experience will become a decisive factor.
The page experience metrics are constantly evolving so stay tuned for more updates, and don’t forget to check our guide on how to rank your website on Google!