Google Core Web Vitals – What Are They and What Do They Mean

Google Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that are based upon UX (user experience) of a website. You could have the fanciest website in the world with lots of information, animated sliders and great products or services but if it’s not easy to navigate or use; not only could you miss out on potential customers but you could also find yourself in trouble with Google. 

The Google Core Algorithm has a strong focus on UX (amongst other stuff) and it has been noted that it rewards websites that have put their website visitors first with nice positions in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). If you keep the user journey at the forefront of your mind when designing a website, you can’t go too wrong.

There are three elements to Google Core Web Vitals and each of them are an indication of how well your website serves your traffic; based on page loading, interaction and visible stability:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – This is to do with the length of time it takes for a page to fully load from the point that a website user clicks on any link.
Ideally, this should be under 2.5 seconds.

First Input Delay (FID) – This is all about interaction with and responsiveness to the website. It measures the length of time between a user clicking on an element of the website, (whether it be a link or a form etc), and the browser response to that particular interaction.
Ideally, this should be under 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – Ever clicked on a website and clicked on a link only to realise that the page hadn’t fully loaded and that you’ve now clicked on a link you didn’t intend to? Well this is cumulative layout shift and a measure of a website’s visual stability. Ideally all elements on a website page should load simultaneously without any lag.
Ideally this should be under 0.1.

It is worth mentioning that the ideals mentioned above are dictated by Google’s own guidelines and that they have associated values for Ideal (Good), Needs Improvement and Poor rated metrics . If you log into Google Search Console and see something a little scary, there may not be a need to panic. There have been instances where some websites have seen Ideal figures in their Core Web Vitals but then seen poor scores for specific pages on Mobiles. Google Core Vitals are a set of metrics that are weighted averages.

So, before you rush off to start trying to fix things based solely on Core Web Vitals recommendations, you should first analyse them contextually to see if there really is anything major to worry about. Yes these figures are great for giving an indication of website performance but they should be looked at with other measures and data. Use them as a tool to guide you but do not get too fixated on them. Good quality content and Great UX should always be top SEO priorities for websites and if you’re unsure about just how well your website is performing and you want some reassurance that all is well, then why not ask us to carry out an SEO Technical Audit for you? For more information on other metrics to keep an eye on, take a peek at our blog on Digital Marketing And SEO: Important Metrics To Track.

About Sophie

Having worked in house on a Prestashop website for a number of years, I’ve gained a great deal of experience with SEO, blog writing, content creation and general daily website operations.

Give us a call on 01460 281865 or email us to see how we can help you!