An optimal user experience has always been important for the success of a website and now Google have officially recognised and announced that several user experience factors will impact a website’s position and placement in their search engine result pages.

As of May 2021 Google will be including a new ranking factor titled Core Web Vitals. While no one (apart from Google themselves) know the exact impact and weight these new ranking signals will have, we’re keeping well researched and informed as to the impact our existing customers could face and how we can best roll out strategies that minimise any negative effects Core Web Vitals will have.

Here’s a breakdown of Core Web Vitals and the 3 standards that Google expects well-ranking sites to adhere to. We all love a good acronym so here is what makes up CWV:

  • (LCP) Largest Contentful Paint: The speed in which large content areas on a page load (eg full-width images, videos, large blocks of text). These content areas should load within 2.5 seconds of loading the page
  • (FID) First Input Delay: The speed in which a user is able to interact with a page (eg fill in an input form, click on a button). A user should be able to interact with a page within 100 milliseconds of loading the page
  • (CLS) Cumulative Layout Shift: The measurement of how much the layout of a page shifts as it loads (eg text being pushed down or a button moving just as you go to click on it). A page should shift no more than 0.1

Google expects all the above metrics to be met at their minimum standard to benefit from the upcoming algorithm update rolling out May 2021.

These seem like fairly daunting descriptions but they are all guidelines we’ve been working to for several years (we do like a good user experience). As there are 100s of ranking signals that Google uses with various degrees of weight and importance, we’re unsure exactly how important Core Web Vitals will end up being but we have processes to accommodate what could be a significant change in how Google ranks websites.

If you are concerned about the positioning of your website or would like to discuss these Core Web Vitals, or any other aspect of Google please reach out to us, we’re here to help.