It’s algorithm update time at Google. Next year, the company will roll out a new ranking factor: page experience. This will be measured by a new set of metrics called Core Web Vitals. Each of the three Core Web Vitals represents a distinct facet of the user experience, will be measurable in the field, and will reflect the real-world experience of a critical user-centric outcome.
The Core Web Vitals include:
- Largest Content Paint [LCP]. This measures loading performance. Google is recommending that to provide a good user experience, the largest content element, like images or videos, should appear on screen within 2.5 seconds from when the page first starts loading. A slower load time equals user frustration.
- First Input Delay [FID]. This measures interactivity. Get out your stopwatch: To ensure a happy site visitor, pages should have a FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift [CLA]. This measures the visual stability of a site. Page components that jump around the screen while loading are the ultimate user turn-off.
Google will be releasing measurement tools to help implement these new metrics, and all signs indicate that the Core Web Vitals are set to play a major role in search rankings—so now is a great time to have a chat with your web team about fine-tuning your site’s performance.