All thanks to Core Web Vitals – a new update to the search engine algorithm that Google plans to implement shortly. When publishing content on a website, it is worth ensuring it is high quality. Websites containing spammy content, texts from mixers or generated using translators will not receive a good rating from Google robots and, as a result, will lower the site’s ranking. In extreme cases, such a drop in the ranking may be irreversible. But that’s not all. When administering a website, you need to ensure it has attractive content and is full of valuable information. As it turns out, the quality of the website measured from a technical perspective may soon become another important ranking factor.
Website quality is more than just good content
Nowadays, after subsequent updates of the Google algorithm, caring for quality content is insufficient to meet the requirements of robots ranking websites for the search engine. You have to try a little harder. Of course, this does not mean that the content is less important. On the contrary, it will continue to be one of the key ranking factors. The quality of the website will be assessed in parallel to the quality of the content.
Another issue is the emphasis that Google places on user security. You need to ensure that there is no malware on your website. Do you want to ensure the safety of people who browse your website as much as possible? Opt for HTTPS. This solution is especially recommended for all websites that collect, save and process confidential data of their users.
There is one more important aspect. If you place advertisements on your website, they should be in places that do not disturb users while navigating the website. What actions may result in a lower rating? These include, for example, interstitials that obscure the content. If you want your website to rank high in the organic results ranking, give up interstitial ads.
Core Web Vitals – What is it?
Google Core Web Vitals means Basic Internet Vitals. With their help, you can determine the user’s experience. You should be aware that several aspects influence whether a user will be delighted with your website or find it useless.
If you strive to make your website visually attractive, you have already taken the first step towards attracting users’ attention. Are you investing in valuable content? That’s great! The attention you have attracted visually has a chance of being retained.
However, if a website with beautiful graphics and extremely valuable content takes too long to load, even a user who is usually an oasis of peace may lose patience. In times when every second counts, no one will wait for a website to fully load. If user experience in this area is poor, you may lose many potential customers.
What happens then? A website with a less attractive visual layer that works flawlessly, even with a very slow network connection, may be much more appreciated by users than a website packed with amazing graphics that cannot load.
With Core Web Metrics, you can understand the user experience. Importantly, data will be collected based on user visits to your website. This will allow you to obtain a real picture and a reliable assessment of the website you manage.
What is the advantage of such a broad methodology? Google will be able to check the experience of users who browse your website using different devices and with the availability of Internet connections and different speeds.
Initially, three aspects will be taken into account (highest content rendering, latency on first action, and collective layout offset). As Google itself announced, this is not the end but just the beginning of developing the entire project. Over time, other factors will be added to those mentioned above, allowing for an even more detailed examination of user experiences.
What aspects should be taken into account when creating website rankings?
The following sections of the article describe the three most important internet indicators. These include:
- LCP – Largest Contentful Paint – the largest content rendering,
- FID – First Input Delay – delay at the first action,
- CLS – Cumulative Layout Shift – cumulative layout shift.
LCP – Largest Contentful Paint
The largest Contenfful Paint is the first factor the Core Web Vitals update will consider. What are they about? This is the time it takes to render the largest part of the page the user sees in the browser window. This part of the website is visible on the screen before scrolling.
This part of the page may contain various content elements. It all depends on the nature of the site. Very often, besides the text itself, there are also graphics and even videos in such a fragment.
By analyzing the LCP factor, we can determine whether the website loading performance is satisfactory or needs improvement. We can use it to check how long the user must wait for the largest element on the website to render correctly.
Have you ever wondered what the optimal loading time is for individual elements of a website? How long is the user willing to wait? How long does a user’s experience on a particular website take to decline?
Whether text or graphics loading time is assessed, it should not exceed 2.5 seconds. If this time is much longer (over 4 seconds), you need to think carefully about the reasons for this and what can be done to improve this indicator.
Moreover, it is not only the result above 4 seconds that requires a conclusion. If the largest element on your website takes longer than 2.5 seconds to render after you start redrawing the site, this situation should give you pause. Your task will implement such changes to obtain the optimal result of 2.5 seconds.
FID – First Input Delay
First, Input Delay determines how interactive a specific website is. Based on this indicator, you can check how much time must pass between the user’s first action (e.g., clicking the CTA button) and when the browser starts supporting this action.
Of course, this indicator can only be measured when the website user decides to take a specific action. What result can be considered satisfactory? It will be best if the delay on the first operation is no longer than 100 ms. It should raise suspicions if the tested value fluctuates between 100 ms and 300 ms. However, a result below 300 ms suggests that there are a lot of errors on the website that need to be corrected as soon as possible.
Why doesn’t the browser always respond quickly to user actions? If you want to go to a specific section too quickly and click the button before the page is fully rendered, you may encounter a problem. If your browser’s response time becomes too slow, you’ll likely become so frustrated that you leave the site.
If you wait too long for the browser to respond, you may lose potential customers. The longer a user has to wait to get to the section they are interested in, the lower their subjective assessment of the website will be. If you want the recipients of your content to have only positive associations with your website, you must ensure that the delay during the first action is as low as possible.
How can you improve this ratio? Code optimization will be key. Take a special look at the JavaScrip code. Appropriate optimization will translate into shorter rendering times, thanks to which the web browser’s response to the user’s actions will be faster.
CLS – Cumulative Layout Shift
A cumulative Layout Shift is an indicator that can be used to accurately assess the visual stability of the website in the event of an unexpected page shift. All changes in the visual layer that occurred without user intervention are considered undesirable shifts.
What CSL result can be considered satisfactory? Suppose the Cumulative Layout Shift value assigned to your website is 0-1. In that case, you can consider it a fully satisfactory result, which does not generate the need to implement changes to the website.
However, if this result is higher than 0.25, you must make the necessary website modifications. Otherwise, the user experience may fall so low that they will stop visiting your website, find it extremely unfriendly, and will not recommend it to their friends.
Do the indicators that Google talks about only affect positioning?
No, the factors mentioned by Google, such as the website loading speed, its adaptation to proper display on mobile devices or visual stability, are not only a matter of ranking in organic search results.
They are extremely important for another reason. It’s a matter of increasing users’ positive experience visiting a specific website. Suppose you ensure that your website is responsive (i.e., it automatically adjusts to the screen resolution of the user’s device). In that case, you can rest assured that potential customers will have no trouble navigating the site and learning about the offer.
The better the user experience, the greater the chance that his action will result in a conversion, regardless of whether it is purchasing a specific product or service or, for example, subscribing to a newsletter. Of course, the above factors are not the only aspects that should be considered when creating a website, but they certainly cannot be ignored.
Remember to stick to standards related to technical aspects when creating websites. Combine a positive user experience, which will be built based on quick page rendering, with interesting and engaging content. You will increase the likelihood that your website will rank higher in organic search results and that users will be more inclined to share links to your content, for instance, on social media.
Page experience update: When will Core Web Vitals be implemented?
The changes were originally announced for May 2021. However, as it turns out (and as has happened many times before), this deadline will not be met. All information indicates that the changes will start in June (approximately in the middle of the month). It will not be a one-off event but will be spread over time. The entire process is expected to last until the end of August.
This situation has its advantages. People creating websites will have a little more time to adapt their projects to the requirements set by Google. If you want your website to meet the latest requirements, check out their list.
Where can you find information about Core Web Vitals? All you need to do is log in to Google Search Console – there is a special tab titled Basic Internet Indicators. You will find all the necessary information there.
When creating websites, focus primarily on their quality. If you offer users a well-built website, free of technical errors and one that will load in the blink of an eye, you can count on the recipients liking it. What will be the result? They will be more willing to share its content with others, the user experience will increase, and this will directly translate into the popularity of your website among Internet users.
You don’t have to know the technical aspects, but you must know what factors influence the user experience. With this knowledge, you will be able to commission appropriate optimization work to the person responsible for the technical support of your website.