Page experience as a Google ranking factor
In Early May 2020, Google announced Web Vitals — a thoroughly researched set of metrics to help anyone determine opportunities to improve the experience of their sites. Within those new metrics, there is a subset of metrics every site owner should focus on, the so-called Core Web Vitals. According to Google, “Core Web Vitals are a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience.”
Each Core Web Vital looks at a specific piece of the page experience puzzle and together they help both Google and yourself make sense of the perceived experience of a site. Core Web Vitals are available in all Google tools that measure the page experience.
These focal points correspond with three new metrics:
- LCP, or Largest Contentful Paint: This metric tells how long it takes for the largest content element you see in the viewport to load.
- FID, or First Input Delay: The FID looks at how long it takes for a browser to respond to an interaction first triggered by the user (clicking a button, for instance)
- CLS, or Cumulative Layout Shift: This new metric measures the percentage of the screen affected by movement — i.e. does stuff jump around on screen?
The new Web Vitals join several existing factors to make up the page experience ranking factors:
- Mobile-friendliness: is your site optimized for mobile?
- HTTPS: is your site using a secure connection?
- Interstitial use: does your site stay away from nasty pop-ups?
- Safe browsing: is your site harmless for visitors?
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