Google continues their mission to provide a better web experience for all and released a new article on their Webmaster Central Blog announcing plans to bring page experience into their ranking factor.

What does this mean?

Page experience is made up from a number of existing ranking signals such as mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS and no intrusive interstitials, but will be adding “Core Web Vitals” to this to create a set of search signals for page experience.

There’s no change to the current page experience signals and it remains important that you focus on you site being safe to use and mobile-friendly, but considerations will need to be made these “Core Web Vitals” which impacts how your webpage loads and whether this occurs in a user-friendly fashion.

What are core web vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a set of three user-centric metrics that scores three key aspects of your page, these are Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay and Cumulative Layout Shift.

  • Largest Contentful Paint: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is an important, user-centric metric for measuring perceived load speed because it marks the point in the page load timeline when the page’s main content has likely loaded—a fast LCP helps reassure the user that the page is useful.
  • First Input Delay: First Input Delay (FID) is an important, user-centric metric for measuring load responsiveness because it quantifies the experience users feel when trying to interact with unresponsive pages—a low FID helps ensure that the page is usable.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is an important, user-centric metric for measuring visual stability because it helps quantify how often users experience unexpected layout shifts—a low CLS helps ensure that the page is delightful.

Google have given a visual representation of this to help demonstrate the frustrations a low scoring CLS can cause:

How do I check Core Web Vital performance?

Google have integrated Core Web Vital scores into a number of their tools:

  • PageSpeed Insights
  • Chrome UX Report
  • Search Console
  • Chrome DevTools
  • Lighthouse
  • Web Vitals Extension

As well as giving us a list of tools to track and test the Core Web Vitals of our pages, they’ve also let us know what makes a good and bad score, helping us to prioritise and focus our efforts in the right places.

google core web vitals

When will these changes happen?

Due to the current situation with COVID causing many webmasters to focus on other things, Google have said that this change won’t happen this year, giving businesses time to prepare and make improvements to their Core Web Vitals over the coming months.

Have you been checking your Core Web Vitals and will you need to make a change?

If you’re unsure on your next steps, please send us a message or give us a call to see how we can help.