Core Web Vitals is a group of metrics designed by Google to measure part of the user experience. Up until recently, they were merely for web designers and developers to keep track of to improve the user experience. However, Google has announced earlier this year that Core Web Vitals are ranking factors, so they can no longer be ignored. They might not be easy fixes for SEOs without web development experience, however they should be pushed up to your web dev team.
So, what exactly is in Core Web Vitals?
Largest Contentful Paint
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures the speed at which a page’s main content is loaded completely and ready for user interaction. This metric only concerns itself with elements on a page that affect user experience, such as:
- Image tags
- Video thumbnails
- Text elements
First Input Delay
Cumulative Layout Shift
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a metric used for measuring how often users experience unexpected layout shifts. You’ve probably had this happen to you before–you’re scrolling through what you think is a fully loaded page, reading content, when all of a sudden the text jumps and you lose your place. This is poor user experience, and is a result of certain elements dynamically loading above the text you’re reading or loading asynchronously.
You should always be shooting for a CLS of 0.1 or less, which you can achieve by never inserting content above existing content unless it is triggered intentionally by the user and always including size attributes on your images and video elements.
Get out there and go check up on your core web vitals–you never know how it could be negatively impacting your search performance!