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Understanding the Core Vitals Update

Oct 08, 2020   |   SEO
Understanding the Core Vitals Update -, Milestone Inc.

Over the summer, Google announced its latest impending algorithm update, known as the Core Vitals Update. Although this change will not go live until early 2021, the search engine wanted to give webmasters the chance to upgrade their sites and make sure they align well with these approaching expectations.

Currently, only an estimated 15 percent of websites have metrics that would rank well according to these core vitals, which means that millions of sites risk disrupted rankings when the update goes live. It also means that the sites that learn how to maximize these factors have the opportunity to see a noticeable improvement in their site positions on the SERP, and therefore the clicks and traffic they can attract.

As a result of the pandemic, an influx of online shopping has also occurred, drawing the attention of brands across industires. Adobe reports that this has led to an extra $107 billion spent in online retail since March. The sites that can build strong rankings, therefore, will be well-positioned to attract some of this interest. For non-branded searches, nearly 40 percent of clicks according to Milestone Research’s new click curve study go to results that fall into the top five results. Thus, leveraging this update to boost rankings can have an immediate impact on a business’s bottom line.

The impending Core Vitals Update should attract the focus of all site owners interested in making sure that they remain competitive in the changing modern business world.

What is the Core Vitals Update?

The Core Vitals Update continues to work for improved user experience. This means that Google wants the search results it provides to clients to offer a clear and helpful answer to their query and a positive encounter with the brand through the website.

This particular signal will focus on the user experience that occurs when a person first enters a new website and tries to load the page. It looks at criteria such as:

  • How long it takes for the main content on the page to load (the Largest Contentful Paint)
  • How long it takes for the page to become interactive (the First input Delay)
  • The amount of unexpected shifting on the page (the Cumulative Layout Shift)

These criteria heavily impact how customers experience the page when they first attempt to load it. A page that takes a while to load content, does not allow customers to click or otherwise interact with the site, or shifts the content as customers try to engage with the material will frustrate users. Thus, Google will use these criteria to promote the brands that do a better job of providing experiences for customers.

Since the goal of the Core Vitals Update lies in creating an optimal experience, it is possible that the criteria that Google uses to measure these vitals may adjust over time. If different combined metrics better help to capture and quantify the experience that customers have on the site, then Google will likely update their measurements to better capture this information.

This particular metric will work with other existing criteria that attempt to understand the experience that customers have on a particular domain, including how mobile-friendly the page is and the HTTPS signal.

What does Google want to see in a site that ranks well with Core Vitals?

For a page to rank well with the impending Core Vitals Update, Google wants to see pages that provide an outstanding experience for the user from the time that they first click on the page. The sites that rank well with this algorithm update will pay close attention to their load times but also how the page loads and the content prioritized from the beginning. The rapid appearance of clickable material and a well-populated site will help to build stronger rankings.

Webmasters will want to take time to optimize their site load time, including their use of third-party resources. Google will be closely examining several load speed metrics to understand how page load function impacts users trying to access the information.

Although it may be possible for sites with outstanding content to outrank a site with better core vitals, the sites that improve their core vital scores alongside providing excellent content that benefits customers will find this an excellent opportunity to outpace the competition.

The impending Core Vitals Update will position webmasters to improve their site’s ranking and appeal to customers looking for an outstanding experience online. This is a chance to gain an advantage in an increasingly competitive digital world.

See how these tips can help you improve your site experience, monitor your progress, and learn how Milestone can help you seize this opportunity by requesting a free Core Vitals audit at [email protected].

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