Google Core Web Vitals: A New Approach to Site Speed

Google recently announced a new way to measure Site Speed, called Google Core Web Vitals. Google says their new metric is “designed to help site owners and webmasters drive user-focused performance”. But what exactly is Site Speed in the first place? How does it affect your search rankings in Google? And why should you care about Site Speed in the first place? Keep reading to find out.


1. What are Core Web Vitals?

Google Page Experience Update is a significant change to Google’s ranking algorithm. This update was initially scheduled to launch in May 2021, but Google has announced that the rollout will now be delayed until mid-June. The reason for this delay is to provide website owners with more time to prepare and optimize their sites.


2. What is Google Page Experience Update?

Google Page Experience Update is a change to Google’s algorithm that will use Core Web Vitals as the key ranking factor. These vitals are based on user experience, which has been a crucial ranking factor for some time now. Core Web Vitals are made up of three metrics: LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay), and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift).

Core Web Vitals focuses on measuring user experience through these three simple metrics: load time, responsiveness, and visual stability. These factors are closely connected with Google’s mission to rank pages that provide users with the best possible experience.


3. Why are they Important?

Every year, Google makes hundreds of changes to search. Some of these changes have names, like Panda and Penguin. Others go by numbers: They’re part of algorithm updates that fix problems or improve the quality of search results.

Google has announced a new change called the Page Experience Update, which will roll out in May 2021. The Page Experience Update is a collection of changes designed to measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page — and to reward sites delivering good experiences with higher rankings in Google Search results.

This new update is based on three core factors:

1- Loading speed
2- Interactivity
3- Visual stability

The loading speed refers to how fast content on your page appears for users. This can be measured using two metrics: First Contentful Paint (FCP) and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). FCP measures the time from when a user first requests a page to when any part of the page’s content is visible; LCP measures when the largest image or text block within the viewport is loaded.

Interactivity refers to how quickly users can interact with your page after it first loads. This can be measure using Total Blocking Time (TBT), which tracks how long it takes for your page to


4. How to Improve Your Core Web Vitals Score?

Everything you do on your website has an effect on how it performs and how quickly pages load. One area that Google is putting more emphasis on is the user experience.

In May 2021, they’ll start using Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor. this is a new metric that measures elements like speed but also factors in user interactions with your site. This includes things like how long it takes for a page to load, whether or not the content shifts around and if the page is mobile-friendly. These are all factors that users care about, so Google wants to ensure that their search results reflect websites that offer high-quality experiences.

To help you prepare for this coming change, we’re going to go over what Core Web Vitals are, what they mean for your website, and how you can improve them. Before we get into the details of each metric, let’s first talk about what it means to have a good Core Web Vitals score and why these metrics matter.

At a basic level, these three measurements tell you when your site is ready:

LCP: When is my above-the-fold content loaded.
FID: When can users start interacting with my site.
CLS: When are all my UI elements stable.
FCP: First Contentful Paint is the first thing a user sees when visiting a page.

4.1 Largest Contentful Paint

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is one of the three Core Web Vitals metrics. It measures the loading performance of a page, reporting the render time of the largest image or text block visible within the viewport.

In other words, LCP measures how long it takes for a page to load the main content that’s visible when a user first lands on a page.

It’s important for this main content to load quickly so that your visitors can start engaging with it right away. If LCP is too slow, this could significantly hamper their experience with your site.

According to Google, an LCP of 2.5 seconds or less is good enough to provide a great user experience. However, you should aim for an LCP of 1 second or less to be in line with what Google considers fast enough for mobile devices and desktops.

4.2 First Input Delay

A fast-loading and visually interactive site help improve user experience, which is why Google gives webmasters the opportunity to signal their site’s speed and interactivity in Search Console.

A new signal, called “First Input Delay,” will soon be add to Search Console’s Speed Report to help webmasters measure how quickly their sites respond to user interaction. This signal is one of three Core Web Vitals that will eventually be use in ranking.

First Input Delay (FID) measures the time from when a user first interacts with a page (i.e. when they click a link, press a button, or use a JavaScript-based custom control) when the browser is actually able to respond to that interaction.

A good FID score is anything under 100 milliseconds. A score of 300 milliseconds represents an experience that starts to become noticeable by the user and anything over 600 milliseconds is likely to produce frustrate users who abandon your website.

4.3 Cumulative Layout Shift

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is an important, user-centric metric for measuring visual stability because it helps quantify your site’s user experience. It measures how often users experience unexpected layout shifts—the unexpected movement of visual page content. These unexpected layout shifts are a major contributor to the feeling of a poor user experience.

When the visual viewport is stable, users can consume the content without being interrupte by sudden and unexpect changes to the layout. In contrast, when the visual viewport is unstable, users encounter content that moves or shifts as the page loads. This can cause them to lose their place on the page and have to spend time trying to reorient themselves.

Unstable layouts are most likely to happen when:

Cumulative layout change (CLS) is an important, user-centric metric for measuring visual stability because it helps quantify how often users experience unexpected layout changes.

A layout shift occurs whenever a visible element changes position from one rendered frame to the next. This includes asynchronous or deferred content that is eventually add to the DOM, such as an ad slot or third-party widget.

  • A good considered CLS score of less than 0.1
  • A poor CLS score is greater than 0.25

4.4 First Contentful Paint

First Contentful Paint (FCP) measures the time between the start of the page load and the rendering of any part of the page content to the screen. This is an important step for users, as it provides information about the actual page load.

First Contentful Paint isn’t always the same as First Meaningful Paint, which is the point at which a page’s primary content is visible and usable. For example, some pages might display a splash screen or header before showing meaningful content. For these pages, First Meaningful Paint would be a better measure of “content ready” than First Contentful Paint.


5. Core Web Vitals are a new set of page speed metrics that every site should care about

You’ve probably already heard of the Core Web Vitals and how they are coming to Google Search results later this year, May 2021.

These vitals will help you to improve the user experience on your site and make sure that you’re delivering a great experience on mobile, tablet, and desktop.

We’ve made a simple checklist that’ll help you to get everything in order before the google core web vitals roll out.

This guide is split into three sections:

  • Understanding Core Web Vitals.
  • Improve your scores with tools like Lighthouse, PageSpeed Insights, Chrome DevTools, and more.
  • Validate your improvements with the new Chrome UX Report data set in Google BigQuery or by using PageSpeed Insights.

Conclusion:

Google has taken the first step in a large effort to improve user experience across the web by creating a system that allows webmasters to measure and improve their site’s load times. There are so many different factors that go into creating a faster loading page, but this tool takes away some of the guesswork for designers and developers. It is an easy-to-use tool that can be integrate into any site, and it’s free. If you want to make your site faster or have been looking for an excuse to do so, you should definitely take advantage of Google’s new speed analysis tools.


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Sachin Kushwaha Author

Sachin Kushwaha is a Blogger at Digital Rank Brain. He is inspired by a lot of bloggers all over the world. He blogs on SEO, Social Media WordPress Guides, Blogging Tips, Money Making Ideas, etc

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