Core Web Vitals are key website metrics that make up Google’s performance update. This update was originally planned for May, but has recently been moved back to August as Google recognised businesses needed more time to prepare.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Core web vitals are three core speed and loading metrics Google uses alongside its existing Page Experience Signals to understand the speed of your website. You can find a dedicated report within Google Search Console, which focuses on these three areas:
First Contentful Paint
The first contentful paint is the first point the website loads and a user is able to interact with it.
Largest Contentful Paint
This is the final point where the largest item on the page is loaded – this could be many things from a specific piece of code firing to a large header image, video, interactive graphic – anything.
Cumulative Layout Shirt
This metric is one most users are familiar with – the times elements on a page move around during loading. News websites are particularly bad with this as ads, content and pop ups continuously change the layout of the page – disrupting users.
Why is Google’s Performance Update Important?
Google makes constant changes to its ranking algorithm, ensuring high-quality and relevant websites are served for every search made. This update is particularly important as it’s a change to the factors Google uses for ranking – meaning poor core web vitals equals lower rankings compared to those sites with good core web vitals.
There are many different factors that affect rankability on Google, so it’s still important to focus on the standard page experience ranking signals, which focus around quality, expertise and trust.