If Google was the property market then page one of the search results would be luxurious coastal property. And much like valuable property, valuable page properties are built on strong foundations.
In terms of websites, technical performance has been on the mind of Google for while now. They were concerned about the mobile-friendliness of websites and made it a metric. The same thing happened in terms of mobile speed.
And now, after undertaking a big update to its page experience, its latest algorithm takes SEO up another level.
The recent update
Google’s new metric cocktail considers multiple aspects and sets several benchmarks, which include Core Web Vitals. They measure the real-world experience of users on a site gauging the loading performance, user engagement, and visual stability of a webpage.
For those websites that neglect page experience metrics, then they’re going to find it difficult to break into the top layers of the search engine results.
Yet it’s not only Core Web Vitals that analyze a page’s performance. The new Google update combines them with other existing metrics in order to paint a more holistic picture of the user’s digital experience.
Google’s page experience metrics
The page experience performance consists of 5 metrics – of which half are Core Web Vitals metrics.
Core Web Vitals
1. First Input Delay
This is a metric that measures how fast a user’s interactions with a page are processed. If a page has a low FID score, this helps to make sure that it is usable, as it reduces the time it takes to register an interaction and process a user request.
2. Largest Contentful Paint
This metric measures the render time of the largest block on a webpage – whether it be text or image. A page with a fast LCP score makes sure that it is useful by decreasing the amount of time it takes for the content to appear on a device as well as optimizing the loading time.
3. Cumulative Layout Shift
This metric measures the amount of movement that happens by the page’s elements while they load. If a page has a low CLS score then it means that the page contains few – if any – element shifts during the loading time, so that users are able to see the structure of a page much faster, and interact with it much faster.
The other page experience metrics
Due to the widespread use of mobile and its core role in ecommerce, it would be criminal to neglect how websites perform on the small screen. Google has a mobile-first indexing that adapts to usage patterns that makes sure that users get ideal results when doing a search from mobile.
2. Website accessibility
This is a metric that was added to make sure that all onsite visitors are able to get hold of the content and interact with it. This means that all users are able to navigate a page successfully, which emcompasses all disabilities that may affect how a user experiences a website.
How these metrics affect a website
The latest page experience metric update has caused a relatively sizable digital earthquake. Website owners and managers need to stay nimble on their feet to stay relevant – which requires improving the interactivity of your website, ensuring simply accessibility, and fast speed.
And this has put us in an interesting position. Because the tension has been building between website functionality and real-world user experiences. On one side, businesses want great marketing functionality, flush with CRM integrations and chatbots, etc. While on the other side, digital consumers want a reliable and fast digital experience.
Its SEO affects
Part of Google’s work is to provide digital users with helpful, relevant, and user-friendly websites. And we’ve reached a point where marketing and SEO optimization have merged into its algorithm update.
As a result, brands and retailers have to seriously consider content mapping their sites in order to facilitate the users’ decision making – or else Google are not going to reward them with strong rankings.
And yes we are only talking about one search engine. But it’s a search engine that eats up 90% of the market, which is around 5.6 billion searches – each day!