Google’s search ranking update – the low down!

Naima

Naima
Written on 27th August 2020

First of all, hi! I’m Naima Webnetism’s latest addition to the team. My role is to help clients navigate through the ever confusing, and somewhat stressful, world of digital, websites and support Chris on the day to day running of projects – lovely to e-meet you!

So… back to the matter at hand, Google’s up and coming update to search rankings that will include Core Web Vitals (CWV) as a ranking tool. Let me take a step back and explain what this is, for those who have not heard of it before or who want a refresher.

What is CWV?

CWV was introduced back in May 2020 and is a Google tool which shows website owners how their pages are performing based on real world data.

The tool asks, how fast is the website loading?

How fast is it interacting with visitors?

When visitors are on your website, on devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets or mobiles, what’s the experience like?

As Google explained it “Core Web Vitals are a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. They measure dimensions of web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads (so you don’t accidentally tap that button when it shifts under your finger – how annoying!)”

So it’s not just about the content and imagery on a website that Google looks at. It’s also about the UX and UI, something that our Creative Director Tim is a big fan of.

What’s going to be affected?

Basically, all search results. CWV results are going to become a criteria in order for websites to be able to appear in Google top stories.

These are the news results that usually appear at the top of search results.

AMP has always been a requirement to appear in those top stories, however its going away.

You still have to meet the requirements for regular Google news inclusion, but AMP is not going to be a requirement anymore to appear in top stories, CWV will replace this but you are going to have to meet a minimum threshold.

Long story short, this could potentially affect a lot of ranking results.

The technical stuff

CWV is based on three metrics Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Dealay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

To break it down, the LCP metric asks your website how fast the page is loading?

The FID metric asks how fast your website page is interacting?

And the CLS metric asks your website how fast the page is stable?

Below is a table to show you what webpage statuses are evaluated against:

 

Good

Needs Improvement

Poor

LCP

<2.5s

<=4s

>4s

FID

<100ms

<=300s

>300ms

CLS

<0.1

<=0.25

>0.25

In summary

The update is expected in 2021, and it will change the ranking algorithm already in place from Google.

Don’t get me wrong, Google make changes to its algorithms hundreds of times a year however this is a significant change so they’ve provided an early look at the work carried to make sure all us, techies, geeks, webmasters (whatever you want to call us) can prepare and make any necessary changes to websites to avoid issues.

We’ve got about 5 or 6 months to go, so… talk to us about how to get your website ready for this change. We don’t bite and we promise to keep the jargon out 😊

Join the conversation

 
  
 

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