Google usually adds new algorithm updates to address various issues related to SEO. Through extensive research, Google has found that users prefer websites that offer an excellent page experience. The core web vitals are the set of factors that Google finds essential for page experience. With this update, Google will increase the importance of page experience metrics, also called Google Core Web Vitals, in search ranking for content.
This article will help you discover the new Google updates and how Core Web Vitals change SEO in 2021.
What are the new core web vitals?
The new Google updates measure:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCS)
- First Input Delay (FID)
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
It is essential to know what each metric means to understand how it will affect SEO in 2021. So, these metrics estimate how fast your page loads (LCP). They also assess how fast your page’s interactivity is (FID) and how visually stable it is (CLS).
Understanding the user experience might be a complex process since it has many aspects that an SEO expert needs to consider. The criteria for measuring user experience depends on the context itself. However, Core Web Vitals still set standard signals that can improve or worsen the user experience on your webpage and affect your ranking.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
As stated above, this metric deals with measuring how fast your webpage loads. LCP demonstrates the time of the most actual content on your website to load. This is because it usually appears last on your screen. Essential elements could include text boxes, images, or the background itself.
For a good user experience, the last most significant element should appear within 2.5 seconds of the page since it starts to load. If it takes more time, the site requires improvement because it is considered a poor user experience.
In simple terms, it is the most prominent thing to appear in your view. How long does it take for a picture or video on your website to load?
If your website has sign-up icons, floating subscriptions, etc., you should consider using this metric. To also increase the loading speed, you should keep in mind the following factors that may influence your LCP:
- Slow server response time
- Resource loading time
- Client-side rendering.
First Input Delay (FID)
This metric displays interactivity. It measures load responsiveness. In basic terms, this metric measures the time between the user’s first interaction with your webpage until the time when a browser can respond and give a result.
When a visitor clicks on the ‘about us’ button, how fast is the user taken to that page? It is, however, essential to know that FID does not measure processing time but a delay in processing. It is also considered a good user experience if First Input Delay is less than 100 milliseconds. Any delay above 300 milliseconds is regarded as a poor user experience and needs improvement. In general, input delay appears when a browser’s main thread is busy doing something other than interacting with the user’s request.
Cumulative Layout Shifts (CLS)
Finally, the last metric is Cumulative Layout Shifts (CLS). It refers to visual stability on your website. Have you ever experienced frustration when you click on a button, but the layout shifts, so you end up accidentally clicking the wrong button? This metric is the solution to this problem.
To eliminate poor user experience, Google has introduced a CLS signal to reduce unexpected movement of the content. This metric will assist you by measuring how often your users experience this problem.
Sites should aim for the cumulative layout shift score to be less than 0.1 because it is considered a good user experience. However, if it results in anything more than that, it needs to be improved. A number above 0.25 is regarded as a poor user experience.
How they have changed SEO in 2021
So, we already know about the new Google algorithm updates, but how will they change SEO? New page experience metrics will join many factors Google looks into while generating search results. It means that Core Web Vitals change SEO in terms that you will now have to consider these new metrics to compete for a high rank in Google.
Page experience is essential when it comes to ensuring the best user interaction with your site. However, Google will prioritize ranking pages with the cleanest content and comprehensive information. It would help if you also remembered that a good page experience will not take over the high-quality content you publish on your site.
Other pages can be as informative as yours and share great content. For this reason, Core Web Vitals will help increase your page experience and help you rank higher than your competition. Moreover, you can access tools to measure and report Core Web Vitals.
To understand how Google sees your Core Web Vitals performance of your site, you must get access to Google Search Console. This tool is free and helps you track the performance of your website. Moreover, it enables you to understand how Google views your website in general.
In conclusion, as Google continues improving tools to measure core vitals, it is essential to learn and understand them so that you can keep ranking higher. But as much as new metrics and page experience are imperative, high-quality content is still the main priority. Sure enough, without relevant content, your site will not rank higher. But also don’t forget that excellent page experience metrics performance can help you surpass equally good content like yours in Google rankings. We hope this article helps you understand the new metrics by Google and how they change SEO in 2021.
Joyce Remy is a writer and blogger with a passion for entrepreneurship. Her writing aims to inspire and educate small businesses owners. She often contributes to the Content Clerks blog.