Google's Web Vitals Update + What It Means For Your SEO
Google recently announced a new set of metrics called Web Vitals, which helps measure your website's speed and user experience. This new ranking factor will begin to roll out in mid June 2021.
What does it mean?
Have you ever searched for something that looked great in the search results, but when you visited the web page, it wasn't at all what you wanted? Or have you ever clicked on a website link and it took forever to load. Who has that kind of time? These are the reasons that Google is working to improve overall user experience by using these metrics to help rank the best websites.
Google says, “Great page experiences enable people to get more done and engage more deeply; in contrast, a bad page experience could stand in the way of a person being able to find the valuable information on a page.”
What are Web Vitals?
Web Vitals is an initiative powered by Google to look for quality in web pages that will deliver the best user experience. For our convenience, Google has simplified these metrics into the Core Web Vitals. The Core Web Vitals are the pillars of page experience and all developers and website owners should take note.
Google says, "The metrics that make up Core Web Vitals will evolve over time. The current set focuses on three aspects of the user experience—loading, interactivity, and visual stability..."
These three focal points correspond with the following metrics:
LCP, or Largest Contentful Paint: This metric shows how long it takes for the largest piece of content on the page to load.
FID, or First Input Delay: The FID tells how long the response is to an interactive element, such as a button clicked by the user.
CLS, or Cumulative Layout Shift: This measures how susceptible the screen could be to insecure movement when loading new resources. The entire page could move while the user is trying to interact.
Although page speed is still important, these new metrics go beyond the load time and content on a page. These are more focused on how long it takes for content to be useful to the user.
Why should you care?
Well, Google will be using these new metrics in order to rank pages on search results. So, if your website has a poor user experience, is slow on load, and is not mobile friendly, you're going to have a low ranking. And if you have a low ranking, you won't show up on page 1 of search results. This isn't good for anyone.
The current page experience ranking factors (that we know of) include:
Mobile Friendliness / Responsiveness
HTTPS / SSL / Secure Connections
Page Speed + Load Speed
If your website is missing or is struggling with any of these things, we should address them as soon as possible in order to help keep your Google ranking high.
Let's review your site.
I know, this sounds confusing and a little scary. Don't worry, I'm here to help. I won't throw you in the pit of bad rankings to fend for yourself. Please contact me for a review of your website, which will include:
Measurement: To see if your website is affected by any of these page experience factors
Test Speed: To see how long your website takes to load.
Review Security: Is your website safe? If not, we will review our options to fix it.
Optimization: Fix and optimize any of the issues that came up in the tests above.