Since May of this year, Core Web Vitals have been the official factors in how the Google search engine algorithm functions.
Its hope is to persuade website owners and managers to improve the performance and speed of their websites so that their visitors can experience better digital experiences. The reward that Google promises is an elevation in search engine rankings.
Yet recent analysis dug out by the digital marketing company Searchmetrics shines new light on the current state of website Core Web Vitals. And it doesn’t look great.
They scanned through more than 2 million URLs across the web and found that just 4% of them managed to achieve good Core Web Vitals scores.
That left an eye-watering 96% of websites that have failing Core Web Vitals scores across all three of the metrics.
These scores were based on data gathered from desktop performance. When they analyzed mobile websites, they found that less than 10% of them scored well across all three of the Core Web Vitals.
Let’s take a look at the average scores for all three of the metrics: Largest Contentful Paint; Total Blocking Time; and Cumulative Layout Shift.
Largest Contentful Paint
For the top 5 websites that scored the best for Largest Contentful Paint, the average score was 2.48 seconds.
Total Blocking Time
For the top 5 websites that scored the best for Total Blocking Time, the average score was 554 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift
For the top 5 websites that scored the best for Cumulative Layout Shift, the average score was 0.24.
“Web Vitals is an initiative to provide unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web,” according to Google themselves.
There are two prominent purposes as to why Google made this update.
Firstly, to boost the emphasis of Google when it comes to the user experience. So if a site visitor has a good and positive experience, Google will slightly elevate the page in the search engine rankings.
Secondly, to simplify the technical side for website owners and managers when it comes to understanding the digital pieces that make up a website’s performance and how to improve it.
This simple yet significant update from Google has had the web industry in a frenzy as well as SEO specialists. And it has thrown up mountains of questions such as:
What is the right way to interpret Core Web Vitals scores?
Which Core Web Vitals metric should I prioritize?
How easy is it to optimize websites that are built on CMS platforms like WordPress?
What are other ranking factors that are anchored to Core Web Vitals?
What are the benchmarks I should aim for in terms of Core Web Vitals?
Do other Google products like YouTube perform well in terms of Core Web Vitals?
These are questions that we have been attempting to answer over the last couple of months, and will continue to delve into such questions in the future to flesh out the contours of influence that Core Web Vitals have, and how to tweak each of the three metrics to boost both the website’s speed and performance while at the same time getting a welcome boost in Google search engine rankings.