One of the biggest challenges of working in SEO is adapting to the industry’s constant evolution. From Google algorithm changes to new ranking factors, Google is hardly ever the same as it was the day before. In June of 2021, Google will be shaking up the SEO landscape by adding a new ranking factor: page experience.
Page Experience and How it Affects SEO
In the past, Google determined rank by the amount of content on a website, content quality, and how relevant that content was to a person’s search. However, while a website may have great content, users will not stay on that website for long if the content takes five minutes to load in or jumps all over the page. Enter, page experience. According to Google, “Great page experiences enable people to get more done and engage more deeply; in contrast, a bad page experience could stand in the way of a person being able to find the valuable information on a page.”
Google obviously cannot visit every website and see how fast their content and images load in. So, they had to find a way to quantify the user experience (UX) on any given website. To quantify UX, Google has developed core web vitals.
What are Core Web Vitals?
According to Google, core web vitals are a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify critical aspects of the user experience. Google’s core web vitals will focus on three specific elements of UX: loading, responsiveness, and visual stability. To measure these aspects, Google developed a particular method to measure each one. Those metrics are:
Largest Contentful Paint
Largest Contentful Paint, or “LCP,” measures the amount of time it takes for the largest piece of content to load on a page. It does not matter if that content is a large block of text, a video, or an image. Making a good first impression is critical when someone clicks on your website, and a massive empty space in the middle of your page certainly is not a good one. Thankfully, Google gives further guidelines as to how fast your LCP should occur. According to Google, you should aim for the LCP to happen within the first 2.5 seconds of the page loading.
First Input Delay
The first input delay, or FID, measures the time it takes for the browser to respond to the user’s first interaction. Everyone has been frustrated by a website that will not let you click on something for several seconds after the content has appeared. Google hopes that the FID metric will allow faster, more responsive websites to rank higher. FID measures any interactions that occur while the page is loading. Google considers any page with an FID of less than 100ms to be responsive.
Cumulative Layout Shift
Cumulative layout shift, or “CLS,” measures how stable objects are as they load onto the page. The main thing that this metric looks for is how much objects jump around the page while they load in. Trying to click on a button, only to have it jump halfway down the page, causing the visitor to click on something accidentally, is highly frustrating and leads to a negative page experience. Typically, websites that struggle with this metric have tons of ads that all load in irregularly. The Cumulative Layout Shift compares frames to determine the movement of elements. It takes all the points at which layout shifts happen and calculates the severity of those movements. CLS compares multiple frames to assess the movement of elements. It looks at which layout shifts happen and calculates the severity of those movements.
If you have a slow or unoptimized website that you think might be negatively impacted by these new ranking factors, Osky Blue is here! Our team ofSEO experts will make sure that your site’scontent and user experience are optimized and fast as can be. Our team will keep you posted on the constantly changing SEO landscape. Please check us out on Facebook orcontact us today at our Frisco, Texas office, and find out what Osky Blue can do for you!