Google is releasing an update to Google search called the page experience update, and included in this update are the new core web vitals ranking signals. In this article, I'll give you an overview of core web vitals, let you know when to expect the update, cover why core web vitals should matter to you, and discuss the next steps you should take to prepare for the update.
Core Web Vitals are performance focused metrics defined by Google that indicate whether the page provides a good user experience. They are a subset of what Google is now referring to as page experience signals. Page experience signals are focused on user centric metrics that would indicate a good user experience on a web page. With this page experience update, Google is combining existing ranking signals and the new core web vitals metrics into page experience ranking signals.
The existing ranking signals that they are now grouping into the page experience ranking signals are:
These first 4 are already ranking signals but are now grouped with the new Core web Vitals metrics into a broader group of signals called page experience signals.
Currently the new core web vitals consist of 3 metrics:
Originally, Google had announced that the page experience update that would include core web vitals would be released in May, 2021. However, in April, they announced that that they would be delaying the start of the rollout until mid-June, 2021. Also, it will be a gradual rollout and they state that it won't play its full role in their ranking systems until the end of August.
Google has stated that the page experience updates are one of many factors that they take into account for search rankings and that in general, you shouldn't expect drastic changes to your rankings as a result of these updates, and so if you have a site that has good relevant content, has good on-page SEO practices, and is a healthy site in regard to SEO, then according to Google, you shouldn't expect major changes to your search rankings regardless of how your site is performing in regard to the core web vitals.
The one exception to this is if you are in a competitive environment. If your site and your competitors’ sites are both optimized or at the same level of optimization, then how your site performs against the core web vitals metrics might serve as a tie breaker between you and your competitors.
Even if you are not in a competitive environment, I would strongly recommend focusing on the core web vitals metrics. The reason Google has selected these metrics, is because they believe that these metrics are a good indication of a good user experience. And so even if your site is currently ranking high, by focusing on these metrics you'll be ensuring a good user experience which can lead to higher conversion rates.
If you questions or need additional help in making sure you are ready for Google's upcoming core web vitals update, feel free to contact me through my social channels or contact page and I'd be happy to talk about how Guiding Digital can help.