There are many ways that Google keeps track of our websites and determine if they are fit for purpose and worth delivering to the user. Core Web Vitals are the new kids on the SEO block.
These “algorithms” tell Google if our website is relevant to the search in question, if it is well structured and has good, well-written and produced content, if it has been optimised for their criteria and if it provides the user with a good and speedy experience.
They make many changes throughout the year, every few days they introduce, or change, some changes to their algorithms, hard to keep up with!
Occasionally they introduce a major change, a ranking factor change, that is usually a fairly major shift in their thinking and they often give long notice of these changes in order for development work to be done before the change is implemented.
This is certainly the case with “Core Web Vitals” which are due to be brought in sometime in 2021, although an exact timeframe has not yet been decided by Google. There are delays due to the recent Covid situation and Google are trying to give people more time to make the necessary adjustments to their sites during these unprecedented times.
So, what are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are a collection of specific algorithms that help Google determine if your website provides the user with a good overall experience if they land on it following their search.
There are three main parts to Core Web Vitals, measuring the “user-friendliness” of your website and how the user is able to interact with the site. Speed of loading is at the heart of Core Web Vitals.
The main measurements Google will be using are first input delay, largest contentful paint, and cumulative layout shift.
These phrases will mean nothing to a lot of us, so here is our best shot at a translation into lay- speak!
First Input Delay – This measures the time from when a user first clicks on a link or taps a key to access your website and the time it takes for the browser to respond to that action. Google don’t want people going off to make a cuppa while waiting for the site they want to visit to appear on their screen!
Largest Contentful Paint – What? I hear you gasp!! – LCP (much easier to say) is an important metric that measures how long it takes for the main item of content on a page to load and be available for the user to interact with. This could be a large body of text, an image or a video that appears “above the fold” ie. on the main body of your screen.
Cumulative Layout Shift – This is a more tricky one to explain. CLS is basically an unexpected shifting (moving) of elements on your web page that occurs while that page is loading. The things that usually shift on a page include buttons, contact forms, videos, images, fonts, and other types of content.
Why are Core Web Vitals so important to Google?
This is Google’s official announcement, I think it speaks for itself!
“We believe that by incorporating these new signals into Search, we’ll help make the web better for everyone. We hope that sharing our roadmap for the page experience updates and launching supporting tools ahead of time will help the diverse ecosystem of web creators, developers, and businesses to improve and deliver more delightful user experiences.”
I hope that explains, in fairly simple lingo, a bit more about Core Web Vitals and why they are such an important consideration for your website.
Each of the three factors will be scored by Google as:
- Good – It passes the test; you are good to go.
- Needs Improvement – Your web developer needs to do some work here.
- Fail – Your web developer needs to do a lot of work here!
But don’t panic, you have some time to assess your website and put measures in place to improve your CWV scores.
Please do get in touch with us at We Get Digital and we can help you check your website and advise on what needs doing to make your website make Google smile!
Book a FREE website review with us – let’s check out your Core Web Vitals! Book Here!