In May 2021, Google will be rolling out an update known as Core Web Vitals. Even in Google’s context, it’s a biggie—and will need to be paid attention to. Here’s all you need to know about Google’s newest revamp.
What Will Core Web Vitals Do?
Core Web Vitals ushers in some key newcomers to Google’s standing search signals. The search signals currently in place are mobile friendliness, HTTPS site security, safe browsing, and the absence of intrusive interstitials. All of these have user experience in mind.
With Core Web Vitals, three more page experience signals join the fold: LCP (largest contentful paint), FID (first input delay), and CLS (cumulative layout shift). Let’s break down the jargon. LCP assesses how fast your users see your content. FID gauges your site’s responsiveness to something like a button press or form fill. CLS looks at how often page elements shift while a site visitor is interacting with your page.
Just like its predecessors, Core Web Vitals is about UX or user experience. For context, think about it as you would when visiting an unfamiliar city. The streets you’re walking on have uneven sidewalks, slow pedestrian lights, and there’s a downtown detour that leads you somewhere you don’t want to go. In this metaphor, the city is your website, the streets are your web pages, and the obstacles are poor load times, high input delays, and bad UX practices.
Where Will Core Web Vitals Apply?
As of now, Core Web Vitals are slated to apply exclusively to mobile search. Google knows that’s where the bulk of people are engaging with the web and visiting websites. But don’t be surprised if by year’s end the new signals scoot on over to desktop, too.
What Does All This Mean?
On the web, page performance matters a whole lot. And this isn’t some arbitrary mandate on Google’s part. In fact, a well-researched article from 1968 had an impact on their overarching philosophy.
This article looked at the psychological implications of responsiveness, honing in on very human expectations. If you’d like to know, human response expectations hover in the seconds range (say, two to four). If silence exceeds this period of time (somewhere around four seconds) during conversation, it causes an embarrassing reaction because of that communication break. Think of those signature awkward pauses or silences in your life. How did they feel?
What Google knows is this: those ingrained communicative patterns apply to web pages as well. Need more evidence? An increase in page load time, from one second to three, results in a bounce rate increase of 32%. Take that time up to six seconds—and you’re seeing an increase in bounce rate by 106%. That’s a whole lot of eyeballs not seeing your content, if page load isn’t addressed.
All this said, Google is still keeping content king. Google will still rank pages with higher-quality, more relevant content ahead of their competitors. However, for pages of equal content value, Core Web Vitals will be a deciding factor in ranking on the SERP.
For current clients, the SEO squad at Uptick Marketing will be establishing a workflow to manage the Core Web Vitals update. We’ll be notifying clients about what it means for them, and formulating a plan of action together to best address it.
If you’re concerned about what this means for your SEO, let Uptick calm those worries and do the heavy lifting for you. Contact us for full-service SEO that will get you ranking and raking in conversions. Plus, keep digital marketing ever in mind by returning to our blog.