Now, at the end of August 2021, the new update to Google’s algorithm in Core Web Vitals will be completed.
They themselves have given it special importance since they announced it a year ago.
They say it touches on metrics that affect the user experience. Should I be worried about a Google update? Yes, especially when they go to so much trouble to explain details.
Google has finished the work on their update and is going to start taking into account the factors that influence the user experience (UX), page by page, within each website.
These, of course, are related to a positioning factor, for the moment, indirect, such as loading speed.
As with the mobile content update, they have said that it will be one of the many factors that will influence positioning and that the change will be gradual. They gave plenty of warning and the time has come, so we’ll have to get on with it, won’t we?
Once again, they have tried to make it easy with the new Page Experience Report in Google Search Console. Something that is definitely another red flag, to pay attention to changes in the Core Web Vitals.
Here you can find really useful information about which pages are affected by which metrics, such as LCP, FID and CLS figures.
But what exactly are Web Core Vitals?
User experience could be seen as a purely qualitative process and depends on the type of user.
Well, this is not quite the case, or at least as far as Google and its attempt to bring it into the realm of figures is concerned.
As if it were just another performance indicator within a website or KPI, these figures measure how long the loading process takes on a web page, how much interactivity is facilitated without intrusive elements and what the visual stability of the page is.
The term LCP stands for Largest Content Paintful, which can be translated as the content that takes the longest to paint, a term widely used in programming language and which obviously refers to the time it takes for content to appear on the screen.
It is the measurement of the element of a web page that takes the longest to load. A user experience with a LCP greater than 2.5 seconds should be improved and above 4 seconds is critical.
The First Input Delay and the Cumulative Layout Shift measure the level of interactivity and stability of a web page.
That is, as mentioned before, how easy we make things for the user to interact with our content.
The FID focuses on elements such as clicks on links, menu drop-down, filling out a form…
The CLS figures in visual stability will be determined by how many elements are scrolled on the page in question and what percentage of the page they occupy.
So, what do I do with the Google update?
Well first, if this is the first you’ve heard of it, or you’re not well versed in this particular topic, you can get started with the metrics. Google has its own section for developers, Chrome Dev Tools.
You are probably familiar with this Google service, and if you didn’t know about it, you should pay attention to the data and recommendations about your website that are shown here.
You can check the information on Web Core Vitals and other essential aspects that affect the positioning of your pages.
You can also check the data, page by page and in a convenient way, with the Core Web Vitals browser extension itself. It remains active by default on any web page you visit and gives you the 3 main metrics, LCP, FID and CLS.
Of course, you should go to the User Experience Report in Google Search Console, although it’s not always a good place to start. Their report is still small and in test mode, and there is a lot of information that can overwhelm you.
Secure https protocol, image formats and loading speed
To get to grips with the figures on Core Web Vitals, unless you have training or experience in programming or website administration, the experience can be a bit of a daunting task.
Factors such as choice of hosting are somewhat easier to take on board and can bring improvements.
Code optimisation and minification, the extent to which we load the website’s Java resources, embedding tracking code or building the site, are other major factors that obviously require more technical detail.
As always, the Californian giant has taken the trouble to remind us that it will not neglect other well-known positioning factors that also influence the loading speed, and therefore also the user experience.
They want images in their preferred formats such as web.p or svg which help optimise and will reward you if you choose them.
Of course there is no question of presenting a website without https security protocol.