In 2020, Google told us all that Core Web Vitals would play a role in determining SEO rankings for 2021. As well as this, they said they would be announcing a test that would give users an idea of pages with a great experience. Ever since, web designers, managers, etc have been bringing their websites up to scratch. They fear a big change in rankings once the update activates.
First off, what are Core Web Vitals?
According to Google, Core Web Vitals are “a set of metrics related to speed, responsiveness and visual stability, to help site owners measure user experience on the web.”
What does this actually mean? Your website will be judged based on things like page load speed, time to it becoming interactive and how long does it take for the site to become stable.
In essence, your site is judged more heavily on user experience. The Core Web Vitals are actually made up of three areas, outlined below.
Largest Contentful Paint
Largest contentful paint means the time it takes for the biggest block of text or image to load on a page for a user. Different to first contentful paint which is just whatever part of a page loads first.
First Input Delay
This relates to how long it takes for a visitor to actually interact with the website by scrolling, clicking etc.
Cumulative Layout Shifts
The final metric relates to page stability and the layout moving and shifting about as it loads. For example this could be text loading in an image and then repositioning after it has initially loaded on a page.
There has been a lot going around the internet with people unsure what are the real ramifications of this or what does it actually mean. Let us breakdown some of the the myths and confusion around it for you.
“One tool Gives me a Good Score Therefore my Website is Fine”
Like all things in web design and SEO, certain tools will give you different answers to others. Although it is good that one tool gives you a strong score, we would recommend looking at multiple data sources to get a clear and strong idea of how your website is doing. Data from the likes of Google Insights, DeepCrawl and the Chrome User Experience will give you a much clearer idea of how you are doing.
Mobile Friendliness and Core Web Vitals Are The Same
Once again, another false statement. These are two different search signals to each other for Google. Having a strong mobile friendliness does share similar components as core web vitals they are different. An optimised mobile site, is just that exactly, an optimised mobile site. Core web vitals goes further than that and looks at multiple aspects of your website like load speeds and stability.
Core Web Vitals Become The Most Important Ranking Aspect
Although it is sure to be important, core web vitals will not be the main thing to rank your website. Ranking is made up of multiple aspects with no one aspect being the most important. Google themselves have said a site with quality, relevant content will outperform a site with average to poor content but a great on page experience.
Scoring Well on Some Aspects Is Enough
Google recently came out and debunked this statement. They said that all vitals may need to be hit to reach a quality score and receive a ranking boost. To benefit, you need to cover all three areas of website vitals.
Want to improve your sites core web vitals? Get in touch with us here at Meath Web Design.