Google has just announced that it will be rolling out a number of changes to its ranking algorithm such as the new MUM algorithm, Page Experience, or the Mobile-First Indexing.
While some of these changes are not yet live, they should have an impact on the SEO practices of anyone or businesses that are dabbling in search engine optimization.
One set of the new ranking factors is their new Core Web Vitals framework.
What is Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals is a set of attributes that Google thinks reflect a high-ranking site should possess.
It consists of three main elements which are:
1. LCP – Largest Contentful Paint
The largest amount of content or elements that take up the screen estate on the website. It usually would be the page hero image or your H1 title tag.
2. CLS – Cumulative Layout Shift
This is a measure of how much the page content shifts in relation to the screen elements. So if you have a blog post that is heavily aggregated with ads or buttons, then you are likely to have more CLS than someone who has fewer ads.
3. FID – First Input Delay
A “First Input Delay” metric is when the user interacts with your page. The action can be a scroll or a mouse click. In short, it measures the time when users first react to your page once they had entered it.
According to Google, these attributes are important as they are perceived as a good user experience.
If we need to address them in one word, it would be “Speed” – the responsiveness of a site on how quickly it delivers the content without mistakes.
Google’s Core Web Vitals to Become Ranking Signals
Google has gotten some flak over the last few years for focusing only on the page-level experience and ignoring or devaluing the site-level experience or some would say, not having a holistic view on SEO.
That is one of the reasons why they created Core Web Vitals.
Measuring how fast, stable is a page is loading up and how soon the user can interact with it on a page level. 
The goal is to measure how fast a site is able to deliver content to its users.
It’s more than just page speed though.
Previously, Google’s John Mueller had said that it’s not a ranking factor.
But that saying had been changed as of lately.
Now, Google’s core web vitals are officially a ranking factor according to them.
Evaluating your Core Web Vitals
The best way to evaluate your Core Web Vitals is to measure them manually.
Start out by measuring the CLS, FID, and LCP metrics.
Larger values indicate slower loading times which could have a direct effect on user experience.
The tools to test those metrics are none other than Google Page Speed itself.
They had revamped the tool, introduce a new interface as well as an enhanced Lighthouse 9.0.0 version.
You could also see how your core web vitals perform if you had your website tracked with Google Search Console. Your website should receive enough real-time users in order to kick off the reporting tab of these metrics under the GSC.
Or else, you’ll be seeing a “Not enough data for this type of device” message.
Of course, there are always free third-party tools that you can also use.
Smaller values indicate faster loading times which will directly affect users’ experience positively by reducing bounce rates or increasing conversion rates, which ultimately will play a role in ranking your site better over your competitors.
Fixing your Core Web Vitals
It’s best to identify the errors in the metrics and work on getting closer to the ideal values.
You could check out the web-development-related forums where you could find a lot of helpful guides about how to fix these metrics which you can then follow and implement into your website.
The culprits are usually on the hosting environment, theme, or plugin that your site is using.
Changing to a code efficient theme for your website might be a good solution once and for all if you are also thinking to revamp your website.
This might be the perfect excuse to improve things in the technical aspects as well as the appearance or user experience that you wish to bring onto your users.
There are some quick remedies as well if you are using a WordPress CMS.
A cache plugin usually will help to ease things and improve your core web vitals score.
Premium plugins like WPRocket or FlyingPress are some of the better quick solutions that you can actually get.
Or you can always work on the manual way such as picking the elements that are bringing the score down such as identifying the LCP element on that page and moving them to the lower part of the page.
Or if your LCP is an image and it’s lazy loading, maybe you might want to skip any lazy loading for images that are above the fold.
As you can see, optimizing and delivering your content quickly and efficiently will be a good start towards ranking your site well.
However, it’s not always possible to get perfect scores in all the metrics right away so it’s best to put in daily work and wait for the improvements.
It could be a rabbit hole of hard work because there’s a score that you can pick out from. And before you know it, you are obsessed with the score and number. But it’s not worth chasing over a perfect score for this one.
And if you are expecting a major improvement for your SEO ranking once you had achieved a perfect core web vitals score, then you are definitely on the wrong footing.
No doubt it is a ranking factor, but it’s going to be very minimal.
Overall, it’s a good way to measure your site’s user experience and to help you identify the critical factors of a site that needs further improvement.
Having a better understanding of how a website is performing on a holistic level might be beneficial for the owners of the website.
It could also easily show you some areas where your business can dig deeper and spend more time working on them.
So get on these metrics and improve them with every day that you don’t get enough out of them.
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