By Carrie-ann | Aug 15, 2021 | Google news, Search Engine Optimisation, SEO

Has your Site Adapted for the Google Core Update?

Research, which looked at more than 2 million unique URLs [1], shows that less than 4 per cent of websites are currently passing all of the Core Web Vitals tests. If your website is in the 96%, here’s why now is the time to invest in your page experience.

What is the Google Core Update?

Google has set out a selection of Core Web Vitals, which are factors it considers to be key to the overall user experience (UX) of a webpage. These factors are looked at in tandem with other web vitals, including safe browsing, an absence of intrusive interstitials (pop-ups), HTTPS, and mobile-friendliness.

The rollout of this update began in mid-June 2021 and Google has announced that the global rollout will be completed in August 2021 [2].

There are three Core Web Vitals, each of which considers user interaction and page speed measurements:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

This evaluates how long your webpage takes to load the majority of its content. This differs from most other page speed measurements because it looks at loading times from the perspective of the user. So, your LCP score will essentially tell you how long a user is forced to wait before they can begin engaging with your content.

First Input Delay (FID)

This Core Web Vital evaluates how long it takes for a user to be able to interact with your webpage, including clicking on your navigation bar or entering their email into a field to access a download.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

This measurement examines the stability of a webpage as it is loading. So, if you have page elements that shift around as it loads, you’re going to have a high CLS score. This isn’t ideal because you want to ensure that visitors aren’t forced to continually re-learn the location of key elements and links. A low CLS score will also eliminate the possibility of frustrating your users by ensuring that they don’t accidentally click on a link or feature by mistake as the page shifts.

You can see how your site is faring via your Google Search Console [2]. Just look for the ‘enhancements’ section. If it looks as though your site would benefit from some improvements, engaging the services of an SEO expert will help you to ensure that the right refinements are made to improve the on-page experience you are providing to your audience.

What do I Need to Know About the Google Core Update?

Google is officially going to make page experience an important ranking factor when organising search engine results pages (SERPs). The update will mean that Core Web Vitals are looked at alongside existing ranking signals to create a complete overview of a webpage’s UX.

It is important to note that having an excellent page experience score isn’t going to be enough to instantly propel your page to the number one position in key SERPs. Don’t forget that page experience is just one of several hundred ranking factors used by Google. So, you also need to continue investing in high-quality, relevant and valuable content.

Working with an SEO expert (cough cough) to understand the update will be valuable, as this is an excellent opportunity to improve your ranking positions.

[1] https://searchengineland.com/less-than-4-of-websites-passed-all-core-web-vitals-tests-is-yours-one-of-them-349823
[2] https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2021/04/more-details-page-experience
[3] https://search.google.com/search-console/about