The year 2020 was full of unexpected and major events that changed the way we define normal. Just as the pandemic made a great impact in our daily lives, Google is also revolutionizing the search ranking factors and the way we search this 2021. This is not the first time that Google is revamping its search algorithms. Yearly updates have been made to improve search results and rankings. However, this time, they are trying to focus on the major update on page experience. In other words, if Google determines that a user’s experience on a website page is poor, their search ranking is bound to drop in no time if no changes are made with their SEO strategies.
Google’s goal with these recent updates is to enable users to easily access the information they are looking for and encourage website owners to provide their audience with a seamless experience. For this reason, Google announced the incorporation of the Core Web Vitals and several other existing ranking factors, which are a set of specific factors that are considered important in a website page’s overall user experience. With the pandemic in mind, Google made the announcement public earlier to give website owners enough time to improve or make significant and needed changes on their website pages and SEO strategies.
If you haven’t considered how these new ranking algorithms will affect your business or mean for your website page, then consider this blog your official call-to-action.
What Are the Core Web Vitals?
The Core Web Vitals are ranking factors or a set of metrics that determines the loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability of a website page. In simpler terms, it’s a deciding factor that determines whether or not your users will have a good experience on your website. Basically, it boils down to three important factors:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Largest Content Paint is a metric or factor that measures the loading time a website page takes to show users the largest content on the screen — complete and ready for interaction. In Google’s definition, this metric only considers the content that appears without scrolling the website page. The minimum performance standard needed or expected to get good ranking results is 2.5 seconds.
First Input Delay (FID)
First Input Delay, on the other hand, measures the reaction time from which the user first interacts with your website. To put it simply, FID is the delay when you click or tap on something and the amount of time that the web page takes to respond or process your action. These interactions include tapping, clicking, or pressing any buttons, links, or keys on the website. FID is measured in milliseconds, and a good performance expected for a website page is 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Lastly, Cumulative Layout Shift is a performance metric that identifies and measures how many unwanted or unexpected layout shiftings are there on a website page. Unexpected shifts occur when content on a web page moves around without prior user input. If your website page gets a score below 0.1, that means it is visually stable and offers a good user experience.
What the Update Means for SEO
The introduction of these new ranking factors is set to make big changes in the search rankings this 2021. However, how exactly it is going to unfold is still unclear. So far, SEO experts think that the Core Web Vitals will somehow become the official ranking standards sometime this coming 2021. These new ranking factors are also likely to replace AMP as a qualifier for getting into Top Stories. Eventually, the Core Web Vitals are also highly likely to expand and include other relevant factors and metrics that will guide good user experience, website development, and SEO solutions.
What Makes It Important?
Like how every business operates, a customer-first approach is necessary to provide a good experience. Knowing what your customers need, providing them relevant results, and creating solutions to leverage these experiences are key factors to a good user experience. This is exactly what Google is aiming for. By incorporating the Core Web Vitals in the page experience, they make search rankings more relevant and finding significant information easier for users.
For business or website owners, if you maintain good performance in the metrics, the better are your search rankings. Improving your SEO to adapt to the new Core Web Vitals, as well as to improve user experience on your web page, is the best solution to skyrocket your digital footprint.
How Do I Start Preparing for the New Update?
Google has given website owners ample time to make preparations for the new ranking factors update this upcoming 2021. It’s best to start evaluating your website pages now and see if it can pass the new and updated metrics with flying colors. Your first step should be finding out your current Core Web Vitals report in the Google Search Console. See if your website is ranked as good or needs further improvement. If it’s the latter, then you will need to start planning effective strategies that will highlight the recent changes in the search ranking factors.
To Wrap It Up
The Core Web Vitals are not set in stone. They are bound to change time and again depending on the latest trends and what users expect from a good web page experience. What works today may not work tomorrow or in the near future. The SEO community is constantly looking for better ways to improve search rankings and the way we search. That is why you need to stay in the know about the changes occurring from time to time.
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