What Are Google Core Web Vitals?

John Doyle
CEO, Technical Architect, Drupal SME, Open Source Champion
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What are Google Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are specific factors Google considers important when determining the quality of the overall user experience your page provides. They consist of three metrics related to loading, interactivity, and visual stability.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) - Loading
The amount of time it takes to render the largest visible content block. In plain English, that means the time it takes for it to be obvious to your users that the page is loading.

First Input Delay (FID) - Interactivity
The amount of time between when a user interacts with an element on your page – like clicking a link – and when that element actually responds.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) - Visual Stability
The total of all layout that which occur unexpectedly over the lifespan of the page. Layout shifts occur when a visual element like an image or heading unexpectedly re-arranges the content around it – such as when you make a browser window larger or smaller.

Why is Google introducing Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a Google initiative which is aimed at standardizing expectations for a website which they have determined are required for delivering a high quality user experience. This "bar" is being set by Google because they want to provide the highest quality results to their users. With so much information available, users have become impatient, and their expectations have increased. For Google to continue being a leader in the search space, their results need to align with their customer expectations.

Google's initiative here is inline with a trend we are seeing across the industry: user-centric design is the foundation of the 21st century business model. We talk a lot about this topic as it relates to Digital Transformation and Digital Enablement for organizations. With the saturation of the market, It is not enough to provide good and useful information anymore. Users expect more, they expect a good experience.

If you are interested in understanding more about user-centric design concepts or how to incorporate them into your organization, check out our Digital Enablement blog series.

How do I know if I am ready for Google's Core Web Vitals update in June?

Google believes that the Core Web Vitals are critical to all web experiences. As a result, it is committed to surfacing these metrics in all of its popular tools. These tools provide a great high-level overview of your website's current status and will identify areas for improvement.

Once you've measured the Core Web Vitals and identified areas for improvement, the next step is to optimize. The following guides offer specific recommendations for how to optimize your pages for each of the Core Web Vitals:

Google's recommendations are great and provide an experienced development team with a path forward, we have found many organizations struggle with improving their scores. As a result we have incorporated Core Web Vitals enhancements into all of our Website, SEO and Marketing engagements to ensure our clients are staying ahead of the upcoming changes. We have also recently released a new FREE Core Web Vitals Readiness Assessment offering specific to Drupal and WordPress sites to help organizations tackle these issues.

Our Core Web Vitals Assessment will give you tailored insights into your specific Drupal or WordPress website. If your team decides it needs help implementing the recommendations, our team of experts is ready to support!

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