In 2021, Google made a significant change regarding how they rank web pages. The launch of Core Web Vitals placed user experience at the forefront.
In 2021, Google made a significant change regarding how they rank web pages. The launch of Core Web Vitals placed user experience at the forefront. Core Web Vitals are a set of specific factors that Google considers highly important, and these factors have a large input on the webpage’s ranking factor, meaning how far up (or deep down) on Google’s SERPS you end up. There was a lot of talk about Core Web Vitals back in 2021, but is this still relevant? The short answer is YES, it is still very relevant. In this article, we will provide a recap of what the Core Web Vitals are and where to check your Core Web Vitals Score.
Core Web Vitals are an initiative from Google to update its algorithm so that it favors page experience as a ranking signal. Page experience as therefore made an official Google ranking factor back in May 2021. Core Web Vitals were an add-on to an existing group of metrics called Page Experience Metrics that consists of mobile-friendliness, HTTPS, safe browsing, and lack of interstitials. The Core Web Vitals are currently divided into three groups, but can and will evolve over time. The three groups that represent core web vitals are largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift.
LCP measures the loading of a website. In order to be categorized as a good user experience, LCP needs to occur within 2.5 seconds of then the page first starts loading. See our blog post “How to improve largest contentful paint” for a deep dive into the subject.
FID measures the interactivity of a website. A good user experience should deliver an FID of 100 milliseconds or less. If you want more in-depth information about FID, have a look at our blog post “How to improve first input delay”.
CLS measures the visual stability of a website. A website with a good user experience should offer a CLS of 0.1 seconds or less. For more information about CLS, have a look at our blog post “How to improve cumulative layout shift”.
Each of the metrics that form the Core Web Vitals should hit the recommended target of 75% of page loads. This means that you should have an LCP score of 2.5 seconds, an FID score of 100 milliseconds or less, and a CLS score of 0.1 seconds or less for 75% of the page loads in order to get a good ranking by Google.
Since the update was launched last year, and there has not been too much talk about the Core Web Vitals recently, you might think that these are not as big of a deal anymore. This is not the case and Core Web Vitals should be taken more seriously than ever. Since the roll-out happened last year, now is the time when Google really digs deep into which websites are meeting the criteria, and which don’t. The Core Web Vitals is still one of the largest ranking factors Google has implemented, and if you ignore these your website ranking will be largely affected. Google is dominant when it comes to SERPs, and if you fail to rank on Google, you will miss out on a massive amount of traffic and your website's performance will suffer tremendously.
There are several tools available to check the Core Web Vitals Score. Naturally, since it’s a metric innovated and used by Google, there are several useful tools provided by Google to check and keep track of your score. Below is a list of different tools to use. Our experience is that the tools provided by Google are the easiest to use and provide all the information needed, but they don’t go very deep when it comes to for instance understanding interface improvements and there are other tools that fulfill that purpose better, like Lighthouse and Chrome Dev Tools for example. Review your needs and decide which tool serves you the best.
We can probably all agree on the fact that Core Web Vitals are still of utter importance, and should not be ignored, rather the opposite. As there are several handy tools to use when it comes to checking your Core Web Vitals score, make sure you use them and correct the potential issues as soon as possible. Google will show no mercy anymore towards sites that fail to provide anything less than a great user experience.
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