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What do Google’s Core Web Vitals mean to me?

What are "Core Web Vitals"?

We’ve mentioned page speed before in our pages and posts. It's an essential element of Search Engine Optimization. A faster loading page means a better user experience and lower abandonment rates. Those things are important for building traffic and increasing conversions.

If people aren’t willing to wait for your web page to load, they’ll never read your site.

Page speed is made up of many elements; how we treat images and videos, their placement on the page, server speed, coding issues and more. They’re all still part of it but Google has made it easier to see how we score in just a couple numbers, called Core Web Vitals.

Core Web Vitals are visible in your Google Search Console account (see the image that tops this post). Core Web Vitals is primarily composed of three values; LCP, CLS and FID. Oh great, more abbreviations.

LCP stands for “Largest Contentful Paint”. That’s how quickly the main content on your page shows up and the user can start reading it. The target is less than 2.5 seconds.

CLS is for “Cumulative Layout Shift”. You know when you go to a news article, and the page bounces up and down on your screen as the ads load up and you keep losing your place? This is a calculated value that’s a little complicated; here a link to a good video that explains it.

FID stands for “First Input Delay”. This is how long a user has to wait before they can start interacting with your page. The target- 100 milliseconds. 1/10 of a second. That’s fast.

Most websites can't make the grade. Yet.

According to one testing tool, less than 20% of web sites make the grade. On the whole, desktop pages fare much better than mobile. You know which one Google uses as their basis for search? Mobile.

According to almost all web resources, like Search Engine Journal, the scores from Core Web Vitals will be a larger contributor to search performance in 2021 than they are now. Google is just building their process and database before they roll out the algorithm change.

Is your site a slowpoke? Consider some upgrades or a redesign to improve performance. A Site Audit by Pig Pig will tell the tale. Call us if you want to find out how your site is performing, and what can be done.

Bill tracks news and changes in SEO as it affects site design and content development. Follow this blog if you're a business or agency owner that needs basic info to help with your own projects!