Early May 2020, Google announced an upcoming change to search rankings – Web Vitals as a ranking signal. These are a set of initiatives equipped to offer web developers and site owners with metrics to help them improve their sites with the consumer experience in thoughts.
Within those new metrics, there is a unified set of metrics every website builder should concentrate on, referred to as “Core Web Vitals.”
Usually, Google has always been in the business of helping SMEs and builders improve consumer experiences. And now, Web Vitals is here to enhance clarity and consistency challenges for business owners.
According to Google, “Core Web Vitals are a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. They measure dimensions of web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads (so you don’t accidentally tap that button when it shifts under your finger – how annoying!)”
Page Ranking Signal & Ranking
By introducing Core Web Vitals as ranking signals, and combining with page experience, Google aims to encourage better website buildings. Moreover, this is a win-win for website owners; an improved page rank, and user experience.
Invariably, Google will rank a page that considers user experience and engagement seriously. However, don’t forget to invest in a good content strategy, as all these work together.
Annual Updates for Core Web Vitals
Google’s Core Web Vitals will embrace several tools such as loading experiences, interactivity, and visibility of page content.
Largest Contentful Paint. is the time it takes for the content of a page to load. Google recommends an LCP of 5 seconds or faster.
First Input Delay. measures responsiveness or time it takes a page to interact with its users. Unlike LCP, a recommended FID is 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift measures the amount of stability or unexpected layout shift of web page content. The recommended timing is less than 0.1.
With this set of metrics, Google aims to help site owners measure their user experience. In other words, site owners can measure loading time, visual stability, and interactivity.
Keep in mind, however, that Core Web Visuals may change from year to year.
Measuring Core Web Vitals
There are many tools available online that can be used to measure Core Web Vitals. Examples include Google Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, Chrome DevTools, Lighthouse, and Chrome UX Report.
Also, Google promises to release an extension for the Chrome browser so you can quickly preview the Core Web Vitals of any page. The company is also working on other third-parties tools.
Other User Experience Signals
Other page experience ranking factors can be measured using the following:
Mobile-friendliness: use Google’s mobile-friendly test.
Safe browsing: check to ensure if your site is harmless for users. Also, check the security issues report.
HTTPS: is your site using a secure HTTPS connection?
Intrusive interstitial guidelines: is your site free from nasty pop-ups?
What’s Next…Google Page Experience Update?
For the next page experience update in 2021, Google is promising “building better understanding and ability to measure page speed, and other critical user experience features.”
To allow site owners, SEOs, and developers to gather their tools, Google gives an insight into the update to come. You can expect new tools to enhance these metrics, new documentation, better report on how you can improve your site, and privateness preserving experiences.