Google has announced that Core Web Vitals will become a ranking factor for website pages in search results, and will be part of its set of signals for quality of page experience.

Google’s Core Web Vitals coming into effect

UX design becomes ever more important for websites as Google further prioritises the experience that is provided to a user by your website’s pages. And when we say pages, we mean every separate page of your website.

The Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor will come into effect in May 2021 and will combine with other UX-related signals gathered from your pages, to determine your SEO success, and how you rank.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are s subset of attributes Google considers when judging your webpage’s overall user experience, and are largely to do with page speed and user interaction. Specifically, they are:

  • Loading – server connection and page loading times  
  • Interactivity – between the user and your web page 
  • Visual stability – how much layout shifts and intrudes on ease of viewing

These Core Web Vitals will combine with other page factors, such as:

  • Safety of browsing and being free of malware 
  • How mobile-friendly the website is 
  • HTTPS security 
  • Intrusive pop-ups

But Core Web Vitals will be a crucial part of these page factors and will be used by Google to see how your page measures up in terms of overall UX.

What do Core Web Vitals mean for web design?

This is yet another signal from Google that they consider websites made with the user in mind, higher quality than those that don’t.

Web designers should be increasingly aware that they need to make website with users in mind, rather than search engines, as the search engines, in this case, Google, will reflect this in how they rank.

What do Core Web Vitals mean for content?

In Google’s own words: "A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content.”.

Browsers search for content, first and foremost. Where content on two separate pages is equally great and relevant for browsers, the page ranked as a better experience will rank higher. So, taking care of your content is still of primary importance, and actually, should form part of your UX approach anyway.

What can I do to improve my Core Web Vitals better?

For the best SEO success, Core Web Vitals for new websites should now be part of the initial build but it should also be an ongoing area, and service your web developer should provide.

Even if a web developer hasn’t built your original site, they should be able to make modifications and take care of the improvement of, and on an ongoing basis, your Core Web Vitals scores.