• 29 Mar 2021
  • Daniel Kaempf

Core Web Vitals Critical to Google’s May 2021 Algorithm Update

Google’s recent announcement of a new algorithm update scheduled for May 2021 sees them doubling down on a number of key UX (User Experience) fundamentals, such as load time, page stability and mobile friendliness.

It makes sense, with page experience at the heart of their direction of travel over recent years. As they say,

‘Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile.’ 

Core Web Vitals will be critical component to Google's May 2021 Search Algorithm.

Core Web Vitals

There’s little new about any of these criteria though, all of which will now be grouped together under what Google calls Core Web Vitals – a reflection of real-time user experiences on a site. 

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures the speed at which a page’s main content is loaded. This should occur within 2.5 seconds of landing on a page.
  • First Input Delay (FID): Measures the speed at which users are able to interact with a page after landing on it. This should occur within 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures how often users experience unexpected layout shifts. Pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.

Should website owners be concerned about their CWV status? Yes and no. While much of the update relates to basic best practices, it’s estimated that only 15% of websites currently meet Core Web Vitals standards. At worst, Google’s announcement is a wakeup call to the fact that the least you’ll want to do is put these technical SEO fundamentals in place.

Google’s core web vitals are meant as a quantative means to measure user experience. CWV include the following KPIs:
Google’s core web vitals are meant as a quantative means to measure user experience. CWV include the following KPIs:

Google Visual Indicator

And with rumours that Google will be applying a visual indicator to identify pages that meet experience criteria, the last thing you want is for your competition to be winning the Google plaudits (and the additional traffic) while you struggle to deliver a user experience that warrants ranking.

Consider this the perfect opportunity to get your SEO sorted out and to grab a Google seal of approval while you’re at it. 

Unsure about the quality of your CWVs and how you can improve them? 

Contact us now to find out how we can help you comply with Google’s new SEO standards.

As well as this added focus on user experience, here are some other SEO developments that you should prioritise for 2021:

Mobile Friendly

A component of Google’s CVW criteria, making your website mobile friendly is so important it deserves another mention. Why? Because by 2025 nearly 75 of the world’s population will access the internet using just their smartphone. 

What’s your Google Search Console telling you about your site’s mobile usability? Could it be improved? Unsure?

All you can EAT

A key aspect of page experience is the quality of the content you share. Does it display expertise? Is it authoritative? Is it trustworthy? EAT. Answer yes to all three and back that up with relevant, well written, referenced content that’s linked to reputable sources and partners and Google will reward you. 

Time to make sure your SEO is ready to go for 2021? Then be sure to pay extra special attention to your Core Web Vitals. Your SEO essentials.

Whether you’re looking at a thorough SEO review and revamp or simply exploring the best ways to finesse your current SEO, we’ve got all the experience and expertise you need.

Experienced, expert SEO that helps you get every cent of value from your online marketing spend.

Contact us now.

References

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