Google will be introducing new ranking signals soon.
The signals will combine with the current user experiences essentials to enhance how it analyses the overall experience offered by a website or page.
While the new feature is still in its early phases of development, it is always good to prepare for it as a site owner or developer. To help you with that, the Search Engine provided a sneak peek of the new ranking signal and here is an overview.
Core Web Vitals
Fundamentally, Core Web Vitals are some form of metrics related to visual stability, responsiveness, and speed of a page. Google says that the metrics are a result of a long search for robust user experience essentials.
Over the last few years, Google tested and tried various metrics for gauging the ascertained experience of visiting a page, and none came close until now.
By integrating CWV as additional ranking benchmarks and blending them with existing signals, the tech giant’s objective is to assist website owners in developing pages that users will enjoy visiting.
This means that if a page offers quality user experience, depending on the page’s experience metric, it will rank higher than those that don’t. The three incoming Core Web Vitals include:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP):
Largest Contentful Paint also referred to as LCP, is basically related to how fast a particular page loads. It is Google’s way of knowing how a page feels for users.
Previously there were metrics likes First CPU Idle, Time to Interactive, First Paint, and First Meaningful, but they all had limitations. This doesn’t mean LCP is perfect, but it is more accurate when determining how users feel about a page.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS):
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) analyses the visual stability of a website or page. Content jank or Layout shift occurs when a page keeps loading even though it looks like it has already loaded fully.
This is a turnoff and may even make you click on something that you didn’t want, triggering even more unsort things to pop up.
A page’s Cumulative Layout Shift score is determined by calculating a screen’s sheer that shifted abruptly when the page was loading by the distance it moved.
Optimizing CLS is the easiest of the three vitals. It is all about the size attributes of the page’s images and videos and never introducing new content on top of the existing ones.
First Input Delay (FID):
First Input Delay, also referred to as FID, refers to the time a page takes to respond to a user’s action (keypress, tap or click). Unlike the first two vitals we discussed, this metric can only be gauged in-action.
This means a real user must decide when they want to press or click and then analyze how the page responds. In labs, Field Input Delay is known as TBT (Total Blocking Time), which is the difference between when the first action appears, and the web responds.
Now extended input delays normally happen when a page is loading. This is where the content is visible, but the page does not respond because it is still loading other parts of the page.
The main idea behind optimizing this metric lies around faster page loading-using less Java script and code splitting.
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How is this going to affect SEO/rankings?
As mentioned earlier, the main aim of Core Web Vitals is to improve the general user experience of pages as well as redirect users to websites that they will love browsing. Here is Google’s quote that sums the topic well.
However, note that the existing SEO best practices will still apply. Google says that the Core Web Vitals won’t quash the presence of poorly optimized or poor content sites. Similar to Google’s Mobile-Friendly update, Core Web Vitals will affect organic rankings in cases where several sites with the same content are competing for similar keywords.
When will the changes take place?
According to Google, the ranking signal won’t be implemented until 2021.
A 6 months’ notice will be given before it is incorporated in the search engine, along with other benchmarks that they are working on.