Google Core Web Vitals: What to Know and How to Prepare [2021]

By Elliot Olson

By Elliot Olson

Lead Web Designer + Digital Strategist

 

Google is always looking for ways to improve the quality of search results.

With the release of their new core web vitals update, Google is rolling out more changes for online searches. Let’s cover what this new update means for your website and how you can improve your Google rankings.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are the latest update in Google’s quest to provide better search engine results. Google is the top online search engine in the world, and it wants to keep that position.

To maintain its status and attract online visitors, Google is constantly working to improve its search results. It does so by increasing the visibility of high-quality web content while decreasing low-quality content.

So how does Google measure webpage “quality?” Enter Core Web Vitals.

Core Web Vitals are a set of specific factors that Google considers for a webpage’s overall user experience. Core Web Vitals are made up of three measurements:

Largest contentful paint

The largest contentful paint is a measurement of how long it takes for the main content to be ready for interaction.

The only things measured are large images or blocks within the user’s viewport. Anything else outside of their screen doesn’t count towards this metric.

Ideally, the largest contentful paint should measure no more than 2.5 seconds.

First input delay

The first input delay is the time it takes for a page to respond to interactions.

This measurement counts how long it takes for your website to react when the user interacts with your site. Faster responses mean that users are less likely to be frustrated and more likely to be engaged.

Ideally, the first input delay should measure less than 100 ms.

Cumulative layout shift

What’s the last time you were on a website when suddenly everything shifted without warning? New page elements (such as popups, ads, or slow-loading features) can unexpectedly move content on a page.

Cumulative layout shift measures that situation by tracking visual stability. It registers the amount of unexpected layout shift for page content.

Ideally, the cumulative layout shift should measure less than 0.1 shift score.

Tracking Your Google Ranks

Wondering where to find these measurements? Or how your website ranks in each category?

Check your Google Search Console or use PageSpeed Insights to track your ranks.

And if your website isn’t doing so hot on the new Core Web Vitals factors, don’t get too panicked. Google will consider these three measurements in addition to over 200 other factors, such as mobile-friendliness and HTTPS.

That said, it’s best to update if possible for the new Core Web Vitals. Better measurements = higher Google ranks for your content. That means more traffic to your website, leading to more business and sales!

Tips to Prepare for the Core Web Vitals Update

If your website was recently designed and built by Studio Anansi, there’s nothing you need to do — all our websites are optimized for Google rankings and search engine compatibility. We build with WordPress, which is already one of the most Google-friendly website solutions.

For all your DIY-ers, there are some easy steps you can take to update your site:

  • Set up lazy loading
  • Reduce large page elements
  • Optimize images for faster load times
  • Remove unnecessary third-party scripts
  • Upgrade your website host (we offer fast, secure WordPress hosting specifically optimized for WP sites)

Ready to boost your SEO? Contact Studio Anansi about our current availability.

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