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Latest Ranking Factor in SEO: Core Web Vitals

Rebel Staff,

Google’s Core Web Vitals: The Marriage of UX, SEO, and Dev

Core Web Vitals (CWV) are the talk of the SEO town — and for good reason. Saddle up, folks, because they’re Google’s latest ranking factor and will have a major impact on your website. Taking effect in mid-June, we’re down to the wire in determining whether or not your site successfully contends with this latest algorithm change. And not to be the bearer of bad news, but only approximately 15% of websites pass Core Web Vitals.

Don’t panic. We’ll back up. 

Core Web Vitals measure page speed and a website’s overall user experience. Your website’s CWV report is determined by three factors: largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS).

The DL on LCP, FID, and CLS

Largest contentful paint measures the loading speed of your website; or how long it takes for the largest element on a page to load. For this metric to pass Core Web Vitals, your LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds from when the page first starts loading.

First input delay is measured by interactivity; at what point can a user start interacting with your site? This should happen at 100 milliseconds or earlier to pass Core Web Vitals.

Cumulative layout shift determines how much a webpage shifts during loading. If this metric is over the passing score of 0.1, it likely means that your fonts aren’t preloaded and your image sizes aren’t defined.

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SEOs use tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights, Search Console, and Lighthouse to understand if a webpage passes Core Web Vitals. The reports generated by these tools identify key offenders of your website’s UX and page speed. And by working with developers and designers, these issues can be rectified. 

Also, something to keep in mind: Google started indexing websites mobile-first in July 2019. This means that your website needs to pass Core Web Vitals on mobile to actually pass.

Passing CWV is a BFD

As mentioned previously, this algorithm change will hurt your website’s performance in search if it doesn’t pass Core Web Vitals. SEO software company Moz stated, “Google’s own studies show that for pages that meet these thresholds of Core Web Vitals, visitors are 24% less likely to abandon the site.”

To stay ahead of the curve, leading SEOs have already investigated and devised ways to combat this algorithm change. Just ask Twitter.

At Rebel, we can’t help but join a juicy, timely conversation about Google algorithm updates. Because what makes this update extra-interesting is how it bridges the gap between SEO, UX, and dev. Never before have SEOs needed to dive so deep into these other areas of digital marketing.

To take a page from McDonald’s book: I’m lovin’ it. (Sorry. 🧀)

I’ve noticed outstanding professional growth in myself as well as my colleagues on Rebel’s SEO team because of this algorithm change. It demands collaboration and education between our expert developers, designers, and SEOs; producing the highest-quality results possible. 

Yes, Core Web Vitals is technical AF, a bit complicated, and can be hard to understand, but Rebel has three teams eager to collaborate and optimize your website for LCP, FID, and CLS. Passing Core Web Vitals is really just as simple as giving us a call.