Core Web Vitals: Preparing for the Update

Posted on June 9, 2021

Key Takeaways

Page Experience Update

Understanding Page Experience

  • “A set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page”
  • Uses real-world data as well as existing Search signals


When Does It Roll Out

  • Beginning in “mid-June” and will be complete by the end of August 2021
  • Will be a gradual rollout


How Will This Impact Rankings?

  • “While page experience is important, Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall”
  • “Great page experience doesn’t override having great page content”


Core Web Vitals – What Are They?

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

  • How quickly a page loads the latest element
  • More accurate measure of how a user perceives a page’s load time
  • LCP score should be under 2.5 seconds
  • Considers text, images, and videos (including backgrounds)


First Input Delay (FID)

  • How long before a user can interact with your page
  • Load time is great, but if they can’t do anything with your page, that’s a problem
  • FID should be under 100ms
  • How quickly can a user click a link, tap a button, or use a JavaScript control and have it respond


Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

  • Total amount of time of these layout shifts is your CLS
  • Ever tried clicking something, only for it to move because something loaded late?
  • CLS should be under 0.1
  • Probably the trickiest to address if you have an issue
  • Rely on the GSC report and tools like DevTools and Lighthouse to identify and address


Core Web Vitals – What to Do

Check Your Search Console Report

  • If Google is telling you there’s a problem, fix it!
  • Review your report and prioritize the pages that were listed as “poor”, then focus on “need improvement”


Use PageSpeed Insights

  • Test the problem pages
  • Gives you field data (what they’ve seen over the past few days)
  • Gives you lab data – tested in that moment
  • Provides opportunities to make the page faster
  • Also identifies issues with Core Web Vitals
  • Locate the issue and work with a developer to address them


Return to Search Console

  • Report that the issue has been addressed (Validate the fix)
  • Google will review and notify you when the issue has been resolved