On May 28th, 2020, Google announced a new project. They would integrate the new Core Web Vitals into their current page ranking signals. The Core Web Vitals report can be found here. This new ranking signal allows you to understand how your page is ranking on Google. That means you can alter the website so that it ranks higher in Google’s search results.
Any major change to Google’s ranking algorithm gets big press. The search engine is essential for many businesses, and so a change is highly important to understand and incorporate immediately. The announcement of the Core Web Vitals has been no different. Contractors need to know about this new ranking factor.
The rest of this article provides all the information you as a contractor need to know to account for and use Google’s new ranking factor, the Core Web Vitals.
Core Web Vitals
First, you need to understand the Core Web Vitals and how they differ from Google’s current ranking signals.
The Core Web Vitals will not be replacing the current signals, called the Page Experience signals. Instead, the Core Web Vitals join the Page Experience signals. Some of these metrics should be very familiar to contractors. They include
- Ease of mobile use.
- Intrusive interstitials
These metrics will remain. Instead of replacing them, Google will add three Core Web Vitals
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The loading time for the largest element on the webpage. Often the largest element will be a video, picture, or block of text. You want your LCP to be 2.5 seconds or less.
- First Input Delay (FID): FID determines the level of interactivity on your webpage. It measures the amount of time between the user clicking on an element and the browser responding to that click. You want an FID of .1 seconds or less.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This metric measures the amount of shift that occurs on the webpage as it loads. Shifting is extremely annoying for the user, and so the goal of CLS is to remove or reduce it as much as possible. You want a CLS of .1 seconds or less.
Google defends its addition of the Core Web Vitals by claiming the “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.”
In all, the Core Web Vitals are aimed at making the user experience as enjoyable as possible. That is why Google has determined that they may change the Core Web Vital metrics from year to year as user expectations change. They envision this addition to the Page Experience signals as a way to provide the highest quality user experience possible.
How this affects ranking
You may be a bit worried about how the Core Web Vitals will affect your website rankings. That is an understandable concern. But, you don’t have much to worry about. The Core Web Vitals will be an important part of Google search rankings, but only a single part. Content will still be important.
Plus, while the Core Web Vitals will somewhat affect regular search results, they will have a greater effect on Google’s Top Stories. This is because the Core Web Vitals are replacing AMP (accelerated mobile pages). Because Google announced the Core Web Vitals, websites had to meet AMP requirements to become a Top Story.
AMP also had three core components. They are
- AMP HTML
- AMP Cache
These components will be replaced by the Core Web Vitals in Google’s ranking factors.
As mentioned above, the change from Amp to Core Web Vitals does not give the latter outsized importance in ranking results. Google even claims,
“A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where multiple pages have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search.”
Thus, you still need great content to rank high in Google searches and to get in the Top Stories section. Yet, if you are in a highly competitive area, the Web Core Vitals can help you live your website above the competition.
How does Core Web Vitals affect contractors?
This brings us to you, the contractor. For all contractors understanding the Core Web Vitals will be a big part, but not the only part, in the ranking of your clients’ websites. Bringing
The first step in the process of making a website fit the Core Web Vitals is to run a report. Google has provided a reporting tool in its Search Console. This platform allows you to see Google’s insights into your URLs in their index.
Reading the entire report can be a little technical. However, the Core Web Vitals component is not difficult to understand. In fact, Google makes things very easy to comprehend by showing the difference in your results with the Core Web Vitals included and with AMP. Showing users exactly how things have changed is very helpful as we transition to the new metric.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Google has delayed the complete rollout of the Core Web Vitals until 2021. Their report is up now, though. So, you can begin working with your clients on changing their websites to fit the new Core Web Vitals.
All contractors need to be aware of this major shift in Google ranking factors. Anticipating the change will help you keep your clients’ webpages high in Search and your own services in high demand. Keeping on top of all the changes to Google’s Search ranking metrics can be a challenge. But, don’t let that keep you from learning more about the Core Web Vitals. They will likely be an essential part of Google ranking factors and mobile web development for years to come.