Core Web Vitals. Be Ready.
Beginning in May 2021 Google has announced a new algorithm update that means the quality of a web page experience is to become a new ranking factor for searches. The intention of this new update is to enhance a user’s experience.
A website’s usability will now be measured by:
Loading performance. Google will measure the loading time of the largest content on view, which will usually be a video or image. So now is the time to make sure you have optimised your images. Take a look at our previous blog post on Image SEO.
Interactivity. How quickly a page responds to an action by a user.
Visual stability. How much does your webpage shift as it is loading? Is there a chance a user could click on something by accident because everything has suddenly moved upwards?
These measurements will be combined with existing ones which include:
Mobile friendliness. Google checks that links are clickable, text is readable, that there are no obstructions to browsing and no chance of accidently hitting a button because it’s moved.
Safe browsing. The webpage must be secure with no deceptive content. The page should be served over HTTPS.
You may have already noticed a Core Web Vitals heading on your Google search console under the tab- Enhancements. Now is the time to take a look at any usability issues it flags up.
Good quality content will still be the most important ranking factor for a web page but it’s going to be more important than ever to understand what your user’s intent is. You need to consider why they have come to your web page, what they expect to find and if your content is the best they are going to get at answering their needs. The introduction of BERT in Google’s Oct 2019 update helps google better understand what a user is asking with more conversational type queries. This makes it vital to know your audience and the words they are likely to be entering in their searches.