The New Core Web Vitals and Page Experience Updates
The Google search engine is taking it easy on the site owner’s pages for now. We’re not talking about relevant content for users. Google’s search engine will continue to prioritise website pages with the best information. However, the part where Google is taking it easy is on the user’s page experience. Even if the page experience is not that great, it will still be eligible for the top stories carousel. Google has updated its FAQ section on Core Web Vitals and page experience, so site owners know what to expect. These updates are scheduled to launch in May 2021.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Now, Google is going to update the Core Web Vitals very soon. But, what do they mean by these vitals and how they are useful to web pages and the likes?
The Core Web Vitals are a set of factors that Google inspects regarding a page’s performance. The vitals include three specific page speed and user interaction measurements: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). These complex terms basically mean the loading time, interactivity, and visual stability, respectively, that is experienced by the user.
The page experience encompasses the three core web vitals, among other signals. These other signals include mobile-friendly pages, a safe-browsing experience, secure HTTPS connection, and easy page accessibility.
When tasked with ranking your web pages, SEO professionals have to ensure that the website has all of the above. The SEO executive has to perform relevant on-page and off-page activities to establish mobile-friendly pages, set secure and safe browsing, and more.
So, to explore Google’s updates, a set of FAQs have been put out there. These FAQs can help search marketers focus in the right direction.
FAQs on Google’s updates on-page experience and Core Web Vitals
Q 1: From where is the data on Core Web Vitals sourced?
A: The data is sourced from the Chrome User Experience Report. This report is based on actual user visits and their interactions with web pages. The data is not evaluated based on lab simulations of loading pages. Also, Googlebot visits do not count.
Q 2: I use a 3rd party service like social embed and comment systems, but it slows down my website.
A: Sites use third-party codes and services, but the Core Web Vitals metrics do not distinguish one from another. They only check the total experience of the page as seen by the end-user.
You may regularly assess the impact of the third-party components that you use for your website. You can evaluate them against the Core Web Vitals. Integration or configuration may be improved which may improve the user’s experience. This will reflect on improved Core Web Vitals metrics.
Q 3: Why does Google use the same thresholds for Core Web Vitals concerning all types of pages? A newspaper homepage is not the same as an article or a comments page.
A: Core Web Vitals are foundational metrics applied to all types of pages. The user’s journey can determine the threshold ranges, considering page interruptions, loading stability, page responsiveness, and more.
Q 4: What is the page experience update, and why is it crucial against other ranking signals?
A: A new signal is introduced through the page experience update. This new signal will be used alongside hundred other signals. It will be used to determine the best content to show in response to a query. Google’s system will continue to prioritise pages with the most relevant information overall. Even if some aspects of page experience are not high quality, it will be overlooked marginally. Google knows that relevant content should be easily accessible regardless of the page’s experience.
However, this does not override the fact that pages can go easy on user experience. Take one metric or signal, for instance, the page loading time. The page that loads within the shortest amount of time will determine its strength of visibility among users. However, let’s not forget that multiple other signals count here as well.
Therefore, publishers should not get complacent about page experiences. As more and more sites continue to improve their page experiences, it will be the norm to compete.
Q 5: Will the Core Web Vitals be a significant ranking factor when using Google Search on non-Chrome browsers?
A: Yes. Page experience ranking signals, based on Core Web Vitals, are a global application. They will be used on all browsers on mobile devices.
Google will continue to rank relevant content; only now it won’t entirely be based on the site’s performance. Yes, the user’s journey on a page matters, and therefore, factors like loading time and responsiveness will also matter. However, if these factors interfere with the user’s opportunity to gain relevant content, it beats the purpose. Google always aims to make sure that the user gains access to the best information.
It is most definitely a case of prioritising what is best for the user in terms of weightage. How much weight should be given to relevant and informative content and user experience? The right way to look at it is like understanding which road to take.
Suppose you have are two roads ahead of you that lead to two different destinations. The road on the right leads to a place where you find whatever you need. The road on the left will lead to a destination where you will get a few but not things. It’s apparent that you will select the road on the right over the road on the left.
Similarly, Google wants its users to have a great experience but, more importantly, get the best information possible.
Google may show mercy on subpar page experiences, but we at SEOTonic believe in providing top service. We specialise in ranking webpages, pulling them from the least visited ranks to the first Google page. Our team of SEO experts follows optimisation rules to the core. For more on how our SEO team will work for you, contact us today.