New Details on Upcoming Core Update Released

With May just around the corner, the first core update of 2021 will be here sooner than we think. Which means we have less time to prepare for what comes with it.

Thankfully, we recently got more clarification on what webmasters will need to do in order for their websites to benefit from the changes coming with the new ranking factor.

But before you read what news was released, you should see where your site currently stands first, and what core web vitals are.

How to See Your Site’s Core Web Vitals Score

You can use the PageSpeed Insights test to see how Google grades your website in desktop and mobile, and also get insights on how to improve your grades:

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What Are Core Web Vitals?

Here is a snippet from our blog post talking about core web vitals that may help educate you on the subject:

  • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) – This score looks at the amount of layout shifts that occur when your page is loading. As a measure of visual stability, the lower your score is, the better.
  • FID (First Input Delay) – Essentially, first input display tests the responsiveness of your website. It measures the time from when a user interacts with your website to the response of the browser. A good score is having a load time less than 100 seconds.
  • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) – This test looks at the load time for the largest or main content on the page. Google ideally is looking for speeds of 2.5 seconds or faster.

News from Google’s John Mueller

John Muller is the search advocate at Google, and is one of the most notable sources on all things Google news for SEOs.

During a January 29 Google office hours session, he answered some questions about core web vitals and their importance with the upcoming algorithm update. He was able to tell us that in order to get a ranking boost when this update rolls out, your website will need to pass all the core web vital requirements:

“My understanding is we see if it’s in the green and then that counts as it’s OK or not. So if it’s in yellow then that wouldn’t be in the green, but I don’t know what the final approach there will be.

There are a number of factors that come together and I think the general idea is if we can recognize that a page matches all of these criteria then we would like to use that appropriately in search ranking.

I don’t know what the approach would be where there are some things that are OK and some things that are not perfectly OK, like how that would balance out.”

He even expanded on the announcement that a new badge icon indicating a website’s score for their vitals may show up in SERPs:

“The general guideline is we would also like to use this criteria to show a badge in search results, which I think there have been some experiments happening around that.

And for that we really need to know that all of the factors are compliant. So if it’s not on HTTPS then essentially even if the rest is OK then that wouldn’t be enough.”

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