If you have been freaking out about Google’s latest ranking factor, then there is no need to worry anymore. Google considers a set of page experience elements known as “core web vitals” to be crucial to the overall user experience of a web page. In simple terms, if the question is posed what are Google’s core web vitals it is a subset of factors making up Google’s page experience score.
Unlike some ranking factors Google has their own measurement criteria on how to improve core web vitals. You score good and you pass, poor needs improvement and the webpage is a core web vital failure. So how do you know if your pages pass or not? Viewing the data in the Google search console is a simple approach to learning how well your site performs for essential web metrics. It is situated in the experience section of your Google search console account
The number of URLs on your website that have been classified as poor, needing improvement or good will be displayed in the GSC core web vitals report. The report is segregated by mobile and desktop and insights are provided on how to improve core web vitals. Though improving core web vitals for mobile or desktop contributes to an all-around better user experience for ranking Google only uses the mobile pages. The reason being Google recently switched over to 100 % mobile-first indexing indicating that they use the mobile version of your site for ranking evaluation.
The importance of core web vitals
No one is aware of what are Google Core web vitals likely to become. Judging as things stand search engine is taking Google Core vitals seriously. Below are the reasons why you should look at how to improve core web vitals.
Core web vitals may have an impact on rankings
As of June 2021, the experience turns out to be an official ranking factor. The page experience combines a number of elements that Google values highly for the user experience, including
- Mobile friendliness
- Safe browsing
- Lack of interstitial pop-ups
Though we are not aware of how much weightage is given to these factors, going by their name it is evident that they have an important role to play in total page experience score.
But be aware nailing page experience is not the only solution how to improve core web vitals. Google resorts to hundreds of factors in determining rankings and page experience is one of them. They also state that page experience does not override quality content. If your content is the best match for a search query you may get a free pass even if your core web vitals are poor.
CTR and core web vitals
The jury is out on what are Google core web vitals and how it contributes to a ranking factor. Still, we are not aware of how much weightage is given when compared to the other signals But if page experience ranks are introduced, its significance as an indirect ranking component cannot be disputed.
Google has suggested that currently, they are working on visual indicators to identify pages that meet all the page experience criteria. These visual indicators would be displayed front end as a SERP feature. This means that if you fail on how to improve core web vitals a label mentioning “ poor page experience “ will be displayed along with your listing on the search results page. This may turn out to be a disaster for CTR.
The data is clear as users love fast websites. Not only do visitors buy more from quick-loading pages they are keen to return back to them often. When the page is fast to load there is less possibility of them leaving the page.
Therefore, despite the myth surrounding core web essentials as ranking criteria, SEOs are not taking advantage of it. Not addressing it is the reason. what are Google core web vitals but it contributes to better user experience.
How are core web vitals measured?
Real-world data are used to measure the basic web vitals.. In short, it is the actual experience which the users have interacting with your web pages. The scores of core web vitals are not measured by simulations as the data is obtained from genuine Google Chrome browser extensions. When it comes to web vitals there are a couple of data types that you can look at
- Field data – the data is collected from real users, each with their unique device and their network connection. It is done via the Chrome user experience report and the data showcases how the users are actually interacting with the web pages.
- Lab data – is collected within a controlled environment, with predefined advice and network connection settings. From the real users, there is no form of involvement and it turns out to be synthetic data stimulating how users may be interacting with your web pages.
Google uses field data to assess web vitals
The three components of core web vitals
There are three components of core web vitals as follows
Largest Contentful Paint- loading
LCP is how long the page takes to load from the viewpoint of a user. It is the time taken between a user clicking on a link and them seeing the majority of the content on the screen. LCP is measured by the actual loading time of the largest content piece in the viewport. This is also different from the other page measurements. The reason is page speed metrics do not represent what it is like for a user to open a webpage.
First input delay- Interactivity
By this time the content has loaded but is the page interactive yet? First input delay measures how long it takes after a user interacts with your page for it to take action. In other words, FID is page responsiveness.
FID is a field metric and it showcases how responsive your page is in the real world. For this reason, FID can only be measured by a few selected tools, though it is recommended to use the Google search console to identify the pages on the site with FID issues.
Update: Google has announced that Interaction to Next Paint (INP) will replace First Input Delay (FID) as a Core Web Vitals metric starting in March 2024.
Cumulative layout shift
CLS is how steady your web page is and it may be referred to as visual stability. Once the page loads if elements on it move around unexpectedly then you have got a high CLR. This points to a bad page experience for the users.
To conclude if you are not aware of how to improve core web vitals there is no need to worry. Google is expected to roll out the page experience update gradually.
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