Google announced the introduction of Core Web Vitals , a set of metrics for evaluating the quality of the user experience on web pages.
Google’s idea is to encourage the development of pleasant and easy to navigate websites so that the user can find what he is looking for quickly and with satisfaction.
Core Web Vitals will soon become ranking factors by adding to the many parameters used by Google to decide the order in which web pages appear on the search engine. In short, it is better to get to know them immediately because from 2021 doing SEO will also mean taking care of the website user experience .
What and what are the Core Web Vitals
There are three Core Web Vitals. Each of them focuses on an essential aspect of the usability of a web page: speed, response time and stability of the layout.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
It is the Core Web Vital that measures the rendering time of the largest image or text block visible within the browser window as soon as the web page is opened. The elements that remain below the fold are not taken into account.
The goal is to streamline the first impact with a page, among other things discouraging the use of invasive pop-ups and banners.
What is a good LCP score?
To provide a good user experience it is calculated that the Largest Contentful Paint takes place in the first 2.5 seconds of loading the page. Above 4 seconds the loading is already slow.
LCP: Google’s developer documentation
First Input Delay (FID)
The FID measures the time elapsed between the user’s first interaction with the web page (ex: clicking on a link or button) and when the page actually responds to input.
Why base the measurement only on the first interaction and not on the second or third? Because a click is enough for the user to form an opinion on the speed or slowness of the site.
What is a good FID score?
According to Google, a satisfying page experience requires response times to the first interaction of less than 100 milliseconds.
FID: Google’s documentation for developers
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
While viewing a web page, it often happens that you see a layout element move suddenly. It can be the text that moves making us lose the sign or a button that slides further down the moment we try to click. These are bothersome experiences for the user.
Such sudden movements occur because the different contents are loaded asynchronously or dynamically added on the page, undermining other elements.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) adds up all of the individual layout shift scores. Any sudden shift of the layout that occurs while browsing the entire web page is part of the calculation.
What is a good CLS score?
A fast and functional web page should have a Cumulative Layout Shift of less than 0.1.
CLS – Google’s developer documentation
The tools to measure the Core Web Vitals
All popular Google software includes Core Web Vitals reports:
- Web Vitals(extension for Chrome)
Each of these software is free and helps diagnose and troubleshoot page and user experience issues.
The signs of a good page experience
LCP, FID and CLS are the three Core Web Vitals that will become ranking factors from 2021. Other factors that Google’s algorithm uses to evaluate the page experience and establish the positioning of search results are:
- the optimization of the page for mobile devices, necessary given the predominance of smartphones
- the HTTPS security protocol that must be activated to protect user data
- the presence of interstitials, full-screen advertisements that are interposed between the user and the content of the page; Google doesn’t really want to see them because they penalize the user experience, especially on mobile
- security ( safe-browsing) , because the page must be free of malicious content
Will Core Web Vitals change the way SEO is done?
With the Core Web Vitals Google will introduce a new range of ranking factors that transcend the work of SEO and involve the sectors of web design and development. So what? SEOs will work more closely with web designers and developers; at the same time, those who do SEO will have to embody at least some of these other professional figures by acquiring or enhancing those web development skills that allow you to design, build and position websites that are beautiful, fast and easy to navigate.