Since last year, it is clear that Google is preparing to launch a new update of the search algorithm, which concerns the speed and performance of sites.
You may be wondering why this is happening, but Google has good reasons for their desire for constant change – they change the algorithm to provide the best possible experience for the user.
We remind you that Google does not disclose exactly how their algorithms work. The purpose of this is to avoid bad practices by site owners in order to rank higher in search results. However – there are guidelines from Google and we know enough about what things are positive when we create sites for you.
Fortunately – this time it is officially announced what will be included in this update. It was originally scheduled for May 2021, but Google said it would launch in mid-June, and “will not play its full role until the end of August.”
Continue reading to find out how to prepare for the update. Spoiler: it’s all about a great user experience and Core Web Vitals.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Web Vitals is a Google initiative that allows you to measure the user experience while working with your site. You can improve these features to make the user more satisfied.
Core Web Vitals are a subset of Web Vitals that apply to each page.
Because of their critical impact on the user experience – they must be monitored by all sites.
Current Core Web Vitals focus on loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability.
Other factors will be added, such as mobility and security.
This will allow Google to more accurately assess the user experience.
How are Core Web Vitals measured?
Core Web Vitals are rated on performance from “poor” to “needs improvement” to “good”. Needless to say, you should aim for the latter.
Now, let’s look at the elements of Core Web Vitals that were identified as critical in the first update:
- Charging efficiency, measured by Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
This may sound complicated, but it is about how quickly the largest element of the site loads completely. More precisely, what is measured is the time between the moment when the page starts loading and the moment when the largest image (text block or other) becomes visible to the user. For good performance – the speed should be 2.5 seconds or less.
- Interactivity, measured by First Input Delay (FID)
Are you annoyed when a site doesn’t respond? We’re sure you agree that it’s not a very pleasant experience to wait an eternity for a site to respond to your click. Therefore, sites need to be optimized for this factor.
The expected time from the moment the user clicks and the site responds should be less than 100 milliseconds. Anything slower is not well optimized.
- Visual stability, measured by Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
It’s quite annoying from a user’s point of view to see things on the site that move unexpectedly or disappear. This can also lead to serious mistakes for businesses where the customer has to make a decision, but clicks on the wrong button due to relocation. In order for users to be satisfied (and respectively Google) – the site must support a cumulative layout change below 0.1.
You can measure Core Web Vitals on your site with various tools. Here are examples:
Measuring site performance is the first step to optimizing it.
Why optimize for Core Web Vitals
The biggest benefit is that you will rank higher in search results than your competitor who has not optimized his site. It is a good idea to take advantage of this opportunity.
The update is literally lurking around the corner – it’s a good idea to start optimizing as soon as possible.
What happens if you don’t optimize for CWV?
You have to remember that if you do not optimize for Core Web Vitals – you run the risk. Not only are you losing the opportunity to rank better, but you are also losing your current position. Pay attention, and prepare in time.
How to optimize for Core Web Vitals
First, use the right tools to understand how your site is currently performing. If everything is ok – you do not need to do anything. But if there are problems – pay attention to them. Remember that factors work together – improving one of them will improve the others.
Here are ideas on how to improve Core Web Vitals :
There are many possible reasons for bad CLS: images and other elements have no size, dynamic content, web fonts … The good news is that if you use the Page Speed Insights tool you will learn exactly what is causing the problem. Once you understand – you can use the instructions of web.dev for Cumulative Layout Shift optimization .