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DIGITAL MARKETING

Core Web Vitals: How to Prepare Your Website for 2021

In May of this year, Google added new metrics to its reports from the Pagespeed insights tool that, apparently, will be strongly taken into account when evaluating a website. For this reason, if when you get a report from these tools you come across acronyms such as “LCP”, “FID” or “CLS”, fear not, we will explain it to you here.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures the time it takes for the page to load its main content. This means that the faster the main content of your page loads, the better its LCP measurement will be (it should be less than 2.5 seconds). From this new metric, a very similar one emerges, which is FCP or First Contentful Paint, which is the time it takes your page to load the first part of the content. Understand: what is seen without scrolling down. The ideal time for this metric is below 2.5 seconds.

First Input Delay (FID) measures the time that elapses from when the user performs some action on the page (a click for example) until the site responds. If I want to improve the “responsiveness” of my page, I definitely have to pay attention to the rating of my site for this metric. A “good” response time should be less than 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) refers to the visual stability of the page, which is basically the time it takes for the elements that load on the page to stabilize and stay in place. Has it ever happened to you that you are in a hurry and before the page is finished loading, you click on an element and it moves or changes its position on the page, either due to the appearance of a pop-up or an advertisement? This is detrimental to the user’s browsing experience, and Google seems to notice it as well. What is measured with the CLS is the frequency and magnitude in which these changes occur. At the end of the full page load, all these changes are added and the page score is set (to be good it must be less than 0.1).

These metrics constitute Google’s “Core web vitals” and you are probably wondering, Should I be concerned about this now? We do not have a precise date for Google to start taking these metrics into account when positioning your website, but we know that at least we will have to wait until early 2021, although we sincerely think that it is better to be safe than sorry and to start optimizing your website for these indicators would be an extremely wise decision.

Having clarified this point, you will surely ask yourself, what should I do to improve my score for these indicators? Basically to improve these metrics Google suggests the same changes as always when it comes to improving the loading speed, such as eliminating rendering blocking resources, optimizing images, removing deprecated JavaScript elements, lazy loading the images as the user does not see, and other optimizations that can be found in the PageSpeed ​​Insights report: 

Although we have all this information to start optimizing our website for these new indicators that Google will begin to take into account next year (if it is not taking them into account right now) there are some questions that for now have no answer:

Will Google consider these metrics at the entire website level, or at the page level?

From our humble opinion we believe that Google will make an evaluation at the level of individual pages because so far, in the documentation obtained from Google everything is related to the term “page”, and not to the term “site”, in addition to the fact that Search Console breaks down your reports by individual pages, and not at the entire website level. 

Will complying with the Core Web Vitals be the same, less or more relevant than quality content? 

Due to the background that Google has with previous updates related to web usability, quality content always prevails over loading speed, so we intuit that this time it will not be the exception, although betting on optimizing a single point is not a guarantee of Nothing, since many times we see that pages with poor loading speed and low quality content rank above better optimized pages. By this I mean that we must not lose sight of other points that make the SEO of a website, such as internal or external linking, a good user experience, navigability, schema optimization (although this does not seem to be really decisive to time to position the page), etc.

Will these parameters continue to be updated in the future, or will this update last for Google? 

Although it is very difficult to decipher what Google thinks and searches with these updates, we believe that we are likely to find more updates regarding these Core Web Vitals in the next 2 years since the volatility of Google SERPs is very high lately and every At least 5 months we have news of new changes in your algorithm. But don’t worry, we will be here to bring you the latest news and what to do to survive in this world full of SEOs that compete for the same top 10 Google positions.

If you need an SEO agency to help you with these metrics, you can write to us.

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