The Google Core Web Vitals update: What you need to know

The Google Core Web Vitals update: What you need to know

In November 2020, Google Search Central announced that it was implementing a page experience ranking change in 2021.

The search engine giant has already started rolling out a few updates to help content creators and website owners improve their page experience and prepare for the ultimate Google Core Web Vitals update slated for mid-June.

Google will start considering page experience as part of their Search Engine Optimization ranking prerequisites from the specified period of time.

But to help site owners make a transition, Google says it will not be strict on page experience as one of its ranking factors until the end of August. That gives site owners and publishers nearly two months to brace up.

“Page experience won’t play its full role as part of those systems until the end of August,” Google said in a blog post.

“You can think of it as if you’re adding a flavouring to a food you’re preparing. Rather than add the flavour all at once into the mix, we’ll be slowly adding it all over this period,” Google stated.

For now, Google is advising site owners to make refinements to websites with page experience in mind as they prepare for the massive, yet gradual performance overhaul.

So, what is changing, and how do web owners prepare for the change?

According to Google Search Central, a number of things will change within the next two months. For news websites, the Top Stories carousel feature on Google Search will have an updated version to encompass all news content in line with the Google News Policies.

This entails that Google will drop the AMP format as an eligibility requirement for a news content to appear on its Top Stories carousel.

But those are just minor changes. The biggest change the tech giant will bring to the cyberspace is the Google Core Web Vitals. Let’s break what it in simple terms what these mean.

Understanding Google Core Web Vitals

Yes, you’re not the only one. Since Good made the announcement on this upcoming update, many site owners have been pondering on what to change on their websites to keep abreast. Some even considered redesigning their websites.

What are Google Core Web Vitals?

To use a simplified definition from WPBeginner, Google Core Web Vitals are a set of website performance metrics that Google considers important in a website’s overall user experience.

The Web Vitals helps users measure how quickly their websites load, become visible and easily accessible to users.

Google does that by measuring three quality tests which are, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). Let’s break them down.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

This performance metric looks at how quickly the main content, including files of a website, becomes visible to users.

Think about it this way; you may have a website that loads really fast, yet the largest content may not become visible on the screen as quickly as the rest of the page.

First Input Delay (FID)

This measures the period it takes a browser to begin processing event handlers in response to a user’s prompt.

For example, if a user lands on a subscription page of a website, they fill out the form and hit the Subscribe button. Now, FID will measure how quickly the website processes such interaction.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Does your site take more than three seconds to become visually stable? Then, Google might punish you. This why they employed the Cumulative Layout Shift Performance metric. In summary, CLS measures the time it takes for a website to become visually stable.

Under many circumstances, some elements load faster than others when a user interacts with web content. In some instances, only the HTML files get rendered, making the website cluttered.

Author’s note: To learn how to test your site for the Google Core Web Vitals Scores, please check on our next edition. For WordPress users, we’ll also show the tools you need to upgrade your site for the upcoming update. Remember, you can do it without any. Coding. Knowledge.  

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