Google’s Core Web Vitals will become a ranking factor for the first time in 2021. In February 2022, the change was fully rolled out to all mobile and desktop searches.
Since then, Google has also been working to deliver new technologies to optimize web performance, as well as experimenting with a potential new performance metric.
This article will help you understand how Core Web Vitals correlate with key business metrics by exploring examples of companies which have already see positive impact for their users and business.
What are Core Web Vitals and how do they affect your rankings?
The Core Web Vitals are a set of three user experience metrics:
• Largest Contentful Paint: how quickly did the largest image or piece of text appear?
• First Input Delay: how quickly does the site respond to user input?
• Cumulative Layout Shift: is the page stable after rendering, or does content shift?
Google collects data for these metrics from real users as part of the Chrome User Experience Report. Pages that perform well on these metrics will rank higher in search results.
Use priority tips to speed up your site
Last April, Chrome released Priority Hints, a new HTML feature that allows website owners to highlight the most important resources on a page. This is particularly useful for images, which are the most content-intensive resource on a page.
By default, all images on a page are loaded with low priority. This is because, before the page is first rendered, the browser can’t tell whether an image element will end up as a hero image or as a small icon in the page footer.
So it’s common for LCP images to be loaded with low priority at first, and then switched to high priority later. This means that the browser will wait longer before starting to download the image.
This request waterfall shows an example of this. Note the long grey line where the browser knows about the image, but decides it doesn’t need to start loading it yet.