Google’s core web vitals update

Preparing for Google’s Core Web Vitals Update, Part 2

June 17, 2021

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basic expectations from SEO pros and others in the industry regarding Google’s announced update to Core Web Vitals. Expected in 2021 at some point, though no date range has yet been established, this update will be making a few major changes, namely moving from AMP to a combination of Core Web Vitals and other factors for ranking in Google Top Stories.

At SEO Werkz, one of the top qualities of our SEO team is the way we keep our ear to the ground and identify major algorithm changes in advance, ensuring your pages are ready for them once they take effect. Today’s part two of our series will dig a bit deeper into some of the specific indicators and areas where Core Web Vitals have an impact, plus how the scope of the changes may impact your pages and what you should be ready for next year.

Core Web Vitals Indicators

While we won’t get too complex, we wanted to give you an idea of the kinds of things Core Web Vitals identify and assist with when it comes to analyzing your pages. A few of the top factors and signals include:

  • Largest contentful paint (LCP): This title may sound complex, but it’s actually asking a very simple question: How fast does the page in question load? This will be impacted by various sub-factors, including render time, video presence, text in the viewport and the size of the largest image on the page. Core Web Vitals looks at each of these factors, plus things like server time, CSS, JavaScript and even client-site rendering.
  • Cumulative layout shifts (CLS): This is an area that speaks to page stability rather than speed. Stability is a big part of user experience, ensuring pages don’t shift their layouts based on things like undefined images or animations. This part of the tool helps inform you if such shifts are taking place so you can remedy them.
  • First input delay (FID): Finally, the FID metric speaks to how fast a given page’s interactive elements process and are seen. For various buttons or JavaScript events, how fast is the browser able to start the interactive process and produce a result? Faster is better here, and this is one area being tracked.

Scope of Changes

With the above in mind, how large a change will Core Web Vitals be for your pages? The answer will depend on your industry and the level of competition in your business, but various areas of user experience tend to have a relatively large impact on SEO overall – and we expect that to happen here as well. While Google has hundreds of ranking factors and this one alone should not massively impact too many pages, areas like page speed often show outsized impact on success based on their importance to users. This is why many in the SEO world are bracing for a larger impact than usual from this update compared to many others.

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For more on the Core Web Vitals update from Google or any of our SEO, web design, PPC or other services, speak to the staff at SEO Werkz today.

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