Core Web Vitals: Is Your Website Ready?

Google search webpage on a black smartphone representing the Core Web Vitals update
  • James Notaris

    CPA, ESQ, Legal Editor

  • Steve Longo

    Digital Marketer

    In Brief:

  • Google's Core Web Vitals update will soon impact websites.

  • The update will have a major impact on search, forcing websites to take action soon.

  • Learn more about what Core Web Vitals are, when the update will go live, how it will impact search, and how you can better prepare here!

Google’s Core Web Vitals update is coming soon – but is your website ready?

But just what exactly are Core Web Vitals? How will this update impact your website and its SEO? How can you prepare?

Find out everything you need to know below!

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are factors that Google considers important to a website’s user experience. In general, they aim to create a better user experience for website visitors, prioritizing fast page speed, mobile-friendliness, security, interactivity, and stability. 

The update is broken down more specifically into three main factors: loading, interactivity, and visual stability. 

Loading (Largest Contentful Paint) refers to how long a page takes to load from the user’s point of view. Interactivity (First Input Delay) is the time it takes for users to interact with your page, while Visual Stability (Cumulative Layout Shift) is how stable a page appears as it loads. 

Overall, Core Web Vitals aims to push websites to become faster, mobile-friendly, secure, and technically sound, improving the user experience overall. 

When Will the Core Web Vitals Update Go Live?

The Core Web Vitals update is slated to go live in May 2021. 

At the moment, Google has yet to confirm a specific date for it. 

Illustration of a computer and website against a grey background representing the Google Core Web Vitals update

How Will Core Web Vitals Impact Search?

Core Web Vitals will make “page experience” an official Google ranking factor. 

Page experience itself will be a mix of factors that Google considers to be important for a positive user experience. 

Specifically, these factors will include:

  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Lack of interstitial pop-ups
  • HTTPS
  • Safe browsing, such as no malware or misleading content on a page
  • Fast-loading website with interactive elements

Essentially, Google is trying to ensure that websites are mobile-friendly, fast, secure, and free of any intrusive pop-ups to create a better user experience. Fortunately, most websites have many of these factors already. 

To better understand how Core Web Vitals will impact search, try to adopt a “user-centric” mindset first and put yourself in the shoes of users trying to find and navigate around your site. If your site is slow to load, lacks a mobile-friendly version, and has numerous interstitial pop-ups, users will likely have a negative experience and bounce quickly. However, websites that put the user first and optimize for Core Web Vitals will be able to position themselves for success in the future. 

How Can You Prepare for the Core Web Vitals Update?

If you feel your website needs to be better optimized for Core Web Vitals, there are several steps you can take to ensure it’s ready. 

Specifically, these include:

  • Conduct a technical audit using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test and Google PageSpeed Insights to better understand how fast and mobile-friendly your site is
  • Make your website faster by compressing images and removing any extraneous plugins or coding
  • Minimize Javascript 
  • Keep request counts low and only transfer small files
  • Ensure your site is mobile-friendly by using a responsive design, implementing structured data, staying away from interstitial pop-ups and Flash video, and making sure your website is clean, simple, and intuitive
  • Switch to HTTPS
  • Remove large page elements
  • Implement lazy loading
  • Remove any unnecessary third-party scripts
  • Use a set attribute size for media files

Core Web Vitals: Get Your Website Ready Today!

The Google Core Web Vitals is slated to impact SEO in a major way, but you still have time to prepare. By taking proactive steps to not only understand what the update is and how it will impact search, but also how to better prepare for it, you can position your website for success well before the update hits! 

 

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