Core Web Vitals Support

Google has announced that Core Web Vitals will be incorporated into its ranking algorithm starting in June. Core Web Vitals will factor in to existing page experience signals meant to help developers understand how users experience a webpage.

Let’s dive into the Core Web Vitals, why they matter, and how to ensure your web pages are up to snuff.

What are the Core Web Vitals?

The vitals are designed to measure how users experience the speed, responsiveness, and visual stability of a webpage.

The Core Web Vitals are made up of:

  • Largest Contentful Paint: This is the time it takes for the main content on a page to load. Ideally LCP is 2.5 seconds or faster.
  • First Input Delay: The time it takes for a page to become interactive. Ideally, FID is less than 100 ms.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift: The amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content. Ideally this measurement is less than 0.1.

What does this Mean in Practice?

In practice, your website needs to load quickly. This is what the LCP measures. Page speed is important for users, who don’t often wait around for a page to load. If it takes more than a few seconds, users will move on to another, faster website.

Google knows this, and pages that load quickly are more likely to achieve higher rankings.

Websites are interactive, meaning that a user can click a link or button, input text or use them in other ways. When a user presses a key or clicks something on the website, the page should respond quickly. This improves engagement and the experience of the site.

Have you ever looked at a webpage and clicked to enter text, only to find the results are further down the page than you expected? Or worse, maybe you attempted to click a button, but it appears to reload before you can press it? This is what Cumulative Layout Shift measures for.

Sometimes a layout shift may be purposeful and make sense in the design of the page. Google does account for this difference and that is why CLS measures Unexpected Layout Shift.

Why Should I Care About Core Web Vitals?

The vitals will be incorporated into Google’s ranking algorithm starting in June 2021, in addition to the existing page experience signals that include mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS-security and intrusive interstitial guidelines.

Google is also testing a label that highlights pages in search results that have great page experience.

And while page experience is important, Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall, even if the page experience is subpar.

That means great page experience doesn’t override having great page content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages similar with similar relevance about a topic, page experience will be more important.

So it is true: Content is king! But great content is not always enough. Make sure you dress it up and provide your excellent content in the best way possible for users to access and understand it.

How Can I be Sure My Website’s Core Web Vitals Follow Best Practices?

There are several tools to use to check your website:

Google Search Console:
GSC has incorporated Core Web Vitals into its experience section, which also includes Mobile Usability and Page Experience. Checking these reports will show which pages have issues on desktop and/or mobile as well as which of the three web vitals is an issue.

PageSpeed Insights:
Type your url into this site and it will analyze your site, providing lab data for LCP, CLS and time to interactive. It furthers suggest opportunities to increase the speed of your page.

Other tools offer similar functionality. However, running the diagnostics and learning how your site ranks for the Core Web Vitals, is the easy part. The tricky part is actually updating your website to enact changes and improve the user experience.

Let Us Help

If you have developers on your team, you can reach out to them for assistance. Or, you can reach out to a web development company who specializes in ensuring websites are running optimally.

Contact Us for a complimentary review of your website’s Core Web Vitals.