Google’s plan with its 2021 core update
Everyone enjoys a good user experience when visiting a website. If not, most likely the visitor will bounce and hurt your SEO ranking juice. And that’s what Google is noticing. Hence, they have pushed out Google’s 2021 Core Update.
Early this year, Google pushed out a new set of metrics called Web Vitals. Web Vitals is an initiative by Google that provides measurable feedback on how well a website is delivering great user experience. It’s one more tool that helps website owners manage their website properly. Making sure that the quality of user experience is in fact being experienced. Web Vitals helps quantify the user experience of your site. It also helps to identify opportunities for improvement. Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or developer, these new changes are a must to adhere to in order to keep or gain good SEO ranking juice.
What’s that you say? Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are the subset of Web Vitals. Web Vitals, you know, those metrics that were implemented to measure how good or bad a user’s experience was while on your website. Core Web Vitals apply to all web pages. They should be measured by all site owners. Each of the Core Web Vitals represents a distinct facet of the user experience. The metrics that make up Core Web Vitals will eventually change, as all things Google do. Currently, they focus on three aspects—loading, interactivity, and visual stability—and includes the following metrics:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance.
- First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability.
Largest Contenful Paint, huh?
In plain speak, the Largest Contentful Paint a.k.a. LCP measure how fast the largest element of your website takes to load. An element that determines the time it takes your website to load is the bandwidth of the device being used. If your website assets are optimized, then your site would load quickly. If it’s not and you have an element that is huge in file size that’s going to greatly slow down the load speed of your site on a device such as a mobile phone. For instance, you have an non-optimized image that is 200Kb large. On a desktop, no problem. On a mobile device, it’s going to boggle down your load speed. If there are assets that are megabytes large, your site is going to be extremely slow.
First Input Delay, what?
Now, First Input Delay basically just means how soon after the site is being loaded can a user interact with it. Of course, the LCP metric affects the FID to some measure. This is because if the website is taking a long time to load, the visitor is just standing around waiting for something to display. Google wants to see user activity/engagement happening, be it the visitor clicks on a call-to-action button, a link or hits a play button. If nothing is happening, then Google will see it as the site taking to long to load or just not engaging.
Cumulative Layout Shift. Oh geez.
Lastly, Cumulative Layout Shift. This one is a big one because so many websites are notorious about violating this metric. Imagine this, and we know it’s happened to you, you go to a website and it starts to load. It’s loading and it looks like it’s done. You’re about to click on something but then it shifts. An element finally loads and pushed your link down. If you were lucky, the new element that loaded late wasn’t a link or a button. All that happened was your finger touched the screen. But, if you weren’t lucky, the element that populated late was some kind of a button. It shifted the intended element down. Now your finger clicked on the late element. It’s the worst! It frustrates so many people when an element displays late and shifts all the other elements around.
Google has heard everyone’s cry of frustration and have made sure everyone’s website follows good clean web design and functionality. Otherwise, it’s bad SEO ranking points and your website goes to the end of the line. With so many competitive websites out there, that’s a long line. Obviously, your website will not display on the front page and without a good online presence, your business will suffer the consequences as well.
If you’re interested in learning more about Google’s 2021 Core Update, we recommend you visit web.dev. It’s Google’s platform for all things Google Development. They have great information about all three metrics and more.