What does this mean for the user?

  • The pages found are good and easy to read and fulfill the requirements for good content.
  • Users with mobile devices such as smartphones are particularly dependent on well-scaled and optimally visualized websites without high connection hunger.

What does this mean for you as a website operator?

  • As a website operator, you should react quickly and convert your website to an up-to-date and modern system such as ModX.
  • This means you meet all search engine requirements and do not run the risk of losing your existing rankings.
  • As an experienced SEO and web design agency, we offer you detailed advice on how you can continue to be found well on Google with your website.
  • You are welcome to contact us by telephone or use our convenient contact form.

What does this mean for web designers?

  • Many, not to say all, websites need to be revised and made more customer-friendly. This requires not only design expertise, but also technical understanding and knowledge of speed parameters.
  • Considering that many agencies already have great difficulties in implementing effective SEO “Search Engine Optimization” (see Cert-EU studies on SEO certification), the new challenge will be a problem for some.
  • In addition, not all web creation tools are prepared for the new requirements. For example, all users of WordPress will also have to invest a considerable or at least a great deal of time in fulfilling the requirements.
  • These costs can easily justify switching to a more future-oriented tool (CMS for Content Management System). This also makes any changes to content or design much easier and cheaper.
  • Companies like SEO Marketing Köln, which have always certified their SEO work with the Cert-EU SEO certificate, offer advice and a favorable switch to a better CMS than WordPress from a personal point of view.
  • In the following, you will learn more about the content and requirements of the Core Web Vitals.

What are Core Web Vitals?

With the Web Vitals, Google provides important quality features that show the user experience on the website. Site operators can use these key figures to classify and evaluate the user experience of the site.

Google would like to expand and complement the metrics that make up the Web Vitals in the future. However, the values determined should not be set in stone. If users’ expectations of the experience on the website change, the search engine should adjust the Google metrics accordingly.
Users can then find information on the performance of their own pages in the corresponding Core Web Vitals report. The basis for this is the actual usage data, which is also referred to as field data. Users can find important information about the new initiative on Google’s webmaster blog.
The Core Web Vitals report primarily shows URL performance by measurement type, status and URL group. These are the groups of similar websites.
Only indexed URLs are listed in this report and the URLs displayed are the actual URLs for which the data has been collected. The data is therefore not exclusively assigned to the canonical URL of a website, as is usually the case in most reports.
This generated report is generally based on three measured values. These are the FID, LCP and CLS. If no minimum amount of data is available for the URL for one of the required measured values, it will not be included in the report. However, if sufficient data is available for the measured values, then the page status corresponds to the status of a measured value with very poor performance.

Explanation of the 3 categories

Web Vitals are new Google metrics for evaluating the user-friendliness and user experience of mobile and desktop views of websites.

User-friendliness is an important part of the ranking factors for natural search results. The Web Vitals, which according to Google will be used to describe the user experience from May 2021, generally consist of three categories, which are primarily concerned with the speed and the way in which the website can build itself up. Long waiting times are therefore unacceptable for user-friendly websites, which is further exacerbated by increasing mobile use. The three categories of Web Vitals are

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP),
  • First Input Delay (FID) and
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) records the loading time of the largest element to be opened on a web page and thus serves as an index for the loading speed of the page.
The key figure measures the time in which the largest element in the visible page area is rendered. This key figure indicates when the main content of the website is loaded. At this point, Google precisely defines the times. Anything under 2.5 seconds is rated as very good. With loading times of up to 4 seconds, users should improve the speed of the page and from 4 seconds, the provider Google classifies as poor.
This refers to the loading time of the most important content element in the visible area of the website. This usually refers to an image, a large text or a video. The Agg LCP value indicates the average of 75 percent of visits to a page. The good value for the Largest Contentful Paint is less than 2.5 seconds. If this value is between 2.5 and 4 seconds, optimization is recommended.

Using Google’s PageSpeed Insights or other tools, users can easily find out which content element is the problem. Optimization varies in complexity depending on the CMS and layout used.

The First Input Delay (FID) measures the time it takes a server to respond to a user’s first action. This interaction can involve clicking or scrolling to fill in forms or enlarge an image. The FID is used to show how quickly a website is responsive or ready for use.

This value therefore indicates the duration in which a browser reacts to the user’s first interaction with the page. Here, the Agg FIP value also indicates how high the average is for 75 percent of visits to a website.
According to Google, less than 100 ms is optimal, while the user should at least optimize for less than 300 ms. Anything above this is considered slow.

While the CMS also has a major influence here, hosting also plays an important role in this value. It is the server that primarily determines the response time. But JavaScript that is too extensive and too slow can also be a reason for this.
Google uses this First Input Delay to measure the time between user activity on the website and the browser’s response. This means that when a visitor clicks on one of the links or buttons, the time it takes to complete the action is measured. At this point, Google says that anything less than 0.1 seconds is considered good, values in the range of 0.1 and 0.3 seconds are classified by Google as requiring improvement and a response time of more than 0.3 seconds is very poor.

The Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is another criterion. The disadvantage for users are those pages that are constantly changing during construction. This is a consequence of the asynchronous loading of large blocks of content such as videos or images. This causes content to jump to different places while the user is already viewing or reading it. The CLS expresses the visual consistency of the website and describes how much it can change during the loading process.
This value represents a problem that is already known from many other websites. It is therefore about the stability of the website and how much the individual elements change after the loading process. This can be the case, for example, if images are loaded that have no width and height information. In this case, the remaining content still shifts a little when the image is finally loaded. This can also occur with the fonts that are reloaded. Here, the Agg CLS value again indicates the average for 75 percent of all page visits.
Google assigns values between 0 and 1. 0 means that nothing can shift and 1 means that there is a particularly strong shift. At best, the value should be below 0.1 and up to 0.25 it is still okay, but should be optimized. In addition, Google then rates the page as too slow again.

Finding problems with the Cumulative Layout Shift is generally quite simple. The user only needs to view their own website on a smartphone or tablet. Here, Google measures the visual stability of the website. This includes when the elements on the page move, for example non-synchronous page elements that move the layout or buttons that can be changed after clicking. The CLS is basically determined from two values whose product value must be calculated separately.


How can Web Vitals be measured?

The Web Vitals are three different signals that Google uses to measure the so-called Page Experience of a website. The performance is determined using the time until the page is interactive (First Input Delay), the loading time (Largest Contentful Paint) and the sum of the layout shifts (Cumulative Layout Shift).

In addition to the new Web Vitals, the existing ratings for the optimization of mobile websites are also taken into account in this user experience ranking factor. Freedom from interference and safety are also taken into account. Mobile optimization in particular has become very important since the focus on mobile websites. With the introduction of Web Vitals, the complete ranking factor of user-friendliness is completely reweighted and evaluated, with a high influence on search engine optimization.
Artificially created laboratory data or historical data can be used to analyze and measure web vitals. It is also useful to combine these two measurements. The good thing about the new metrics is that Google clearly states what is a good and a less acceptable value when determining them.

The Chrome User Experience Report also provides historical and real values for Web Vitals. This collects and simultaneously analyzes all data from access by real Chrome users. The results obtained can be displayed in various tools such as the Google Search Console. However, users must explicitly consent to the collection of data and only when enough users who have done so access the URL will the average value be included in the UX report. It can therefore take some time before the historical data is available for the website’s Web Vitals. Google has also announced that the ranking factor of user-friendliness will be based on the Web Vitals field data.

Simulated laboratory values are another measurement option. The main advantage of these is that they are always available and always have the same value if the website remains unchanged. These are therefore particularly helpful for optimizing the website according to user aspects. With a continuous improvement of the websites with constant changes to the parameters and circumstances, it is possible to quickly check which changes have a negative or positive influence on this value. This is a rare advantage compared to the historical values, which depend on too many non-yielding factors and can only be used with a time lag.

There are therefore basically two different measurement methods for Web Vitals. For reliable responsibility of the site’s Web Vitals, the user must always use both options. These two types of data measurement are very important, but poor user data results weigh more heavily on ranking factors and page experience.

In the SISTRIX program, the user has access to all two measurement methods. Here he can access laboratory data rather than user or field data. In SISTRIX, the laboratory data is given this name because it is actively determined under reproducible and fixed conditions. If the user now measures laboratory data twice in succession, he will obtain the same or at least very similar values.

In SISTRIX, all laboratory data is determined in an optimizer. The performance measurement in the Optimizer is based on Google Lighthouse. These lighthouse measurements are carried out automatically once a day. The results are automatically saved permanently. In addition to many other important key figures, Google Lighthouse also determines the Web Vitals.

A lighthouse measurement is automatically created for the start page of the Optimizer project. The user can store additional URLs in the project settings. It can also be used to measure subpages automatically and regularly.
It is recommended to measure typical representatives of the pages. This can be an article, a product detail page or a category page, for example.

The user can also set here whether the measurement should be carried out with a mobile or desktop client. The best way to do this is to orientate yourself to your own users and select the option that is most frequently surfed on the website. The profiles for mobile and desktop use different default settings for bandwidth and computing power.

The user can find the results in the Optimizer project under “Analysis”. Here is the first automatic evaluation of the existing Lighthouse data. At the top of the page, he can choose between the URLs for which he has created Lighthouse evaluations.
This starts with the Lighthouse Performance Score, a Lighthouse key figure for all the data collected. The goal is to reach 100.
This is followed by three separate boxes with the Web Vitals. These are the Largest Contentful Paints, Cumulative Layout Shifts and the First Input Delays. Above these values, the user can see whether the measurement is within all of Google’s recommendations.
In the following diagram, the user can see the chronological development of all four key figures. Below this diagram, the user can select the desired values in individual checkboxes. A waterfall diagram is also displayed at the bottom of the page. This allows professionals in particular to immediately see which elements of the page are slow to load.

Google's core web vitals

What influence will Core Web Vitals have on websites (rankings)

Google has long attached great importance to a high loading time for websites and also to good usability for site visitors. With Google Web Vitals, the giant of all search engines has now introduced new metrics that website operators should definitely be aware of and optimize.
In addition to fast hosting, the implementation of lazy loading, the use of a CDN and the provision of image files in new file formats can certainly contribute to a faster loading time. To avoid shifts in the layout, embedded content and images should be provided with attributes.

The fact that loading time will become increasingly important for the website operator Google in the future has not only become clear since the Mobile First decision. The mobile view of the website is now primarily decisive for the rankings. Loading time is therefore considered a significant ranking factor.
However, Google is not really stopping there, but has already introduced further metrics in May 2020 that check the performance of websites very closely. These are the Web Vitals that all website operators should be aware of in future.
In general, it can be said that Google wants to evaluate the user experience of the websites, i.e. the user experience a visitor has.
Google has used a total of 3 important measurements and summarized them in the evaluation of all websites. It is important to know that this does not evaluate the entire site, but each individual web page of an entire site on its own.

When will the new measures be introduced?

Back in May 2020, Google announced that the page experience update would make website loading times a public ranking factor. Google has now confirmed the exact date. This is the month of May 2021.
On the one hand, these months sound very generous, but depending on the complexity and size of the site, they can quickly become scarce. Many users have had to spend several weeks on a public website based on the WordPress system in order to achieve sufficiently good values for this.
Search engines, including Google, are always making algorithm changes and this usually comes as a surprise to SEO users, but search engines often announce such changes to users. The reason behind this is, for example, that they want to encourage webmasters to make changes to their website before the new algorithm changes are rolled out, as happened with HTTPS, for example. For Web Vitals, Google has now also announced that there will be a ranking factor from a currently unknown date in 2021 and then with an announcement over 6 months in advance.

That’s why you need an optimization/new website as soon as possible

There is now a report in Google’s Search Console. This is the Core Web Vitals report. This report shows all URLs of a website that are in Google’s index. This is an indicator of whether they are good, bad or in need of improvement. The site owner should check URLs that need improvement and bad URLs to see how they could be optimized. As each of these reports is linked to the Page Speed Insights reports for each URL, the user should primarily use this tool.
The Page Speed Insights are supported by Lighthouse. These are a set of tools for measuring performance. Here the user should concentrate on possibilities and the diagnosis of errors. As some of Lighthouse can be particularly technical, it is recommended that you work with a web developer.
It should also familiarize itself extensively with the tools and sources that are currently available on the subject and use the time until the rollout is announced to prepare for the new ranking factors and improve the website accordingly.
The focus is increasingly on the individual user. Google therefore announced some time ago that it would be expanding this further in 2021. The focus is now increasingly on FID, LCP and CLS as measurable key figures. With the help of these new Web Vitals, Google evaluates the experience of site visitors even more strongly after its Core Update.

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