With Core Web Vitals coming to the forefront of all things digital, there are plenty of people beginning their journey with the simple question of “Are Core Web Vitals important?”
The answer to this simple question is a simple “yes.” And it’s yes because based on analysis from multiple organizations, the data strongly suggests that the highest-ranking websites tend to have a better Core Web Vitals performance.
In short, those websites that perform well in Core Web Metrics are the ones that are providing a good user experience.
Yet like all things in life, there are exceptions to this. And that’s because Google has the option to ignore poor user experience metrics, as long as there is a certain amount of users still choosing to visit these websites.
One clear example of this – and one that may ring of favoritism – is YouTube. The website performs poorly across almost all metrics connected to loading and interactivity. Its homepage scores 3.8 seconds for Largest Contentful Paint. Google’s benchmark is 2.2 seconds. Its score for Cumulative Layout Shift is 0.13. Google’s benchmark is 0.10.
So you have a Google-owned company completely failing on almost all metrics connected to interactivity and loading. Yet the issues are obvious. As a video-centric website, it is no surprise that in terms of speed, it is a slower site to load when compared to text-centric websites.
What it means for other websites
The landscape on which search rankings live is a complex one. We can see that the sheer power of user signals can be enough to overcome the technical challenges of poor metric performance (such as websites like YouTube).
However, for the average website, it simply cannot force its way to the top in spite of its poor metric performance.
And so for websites, this puts focus on improving and tweaking their Core Web Vitals as well as enhancing the broader website metric landscape.
By getting to grips with site metrics, brands and retailers can offer their customers and new visitors high-quality experiences. The ideal place to begin is by benchmarking Google’s “good” ratings for website metrics. From there you can assess your current metric levels and go from there.