(Please note that this didn’t roll out until Sept 2021) In May of 2021, Google will use Core Web Vitals as signals for ranking in search results. Since these page experience signals will become an important ranking factor in your google search ranking, it’s good to learn more about them. Page experience signals consist of Core Web Vitals and other existing signals. Core Web Vitals track loading, interactivity, and visual strength. This measures the experience and perception of users when they visit a website. Signals include:
- Page Loading (how fast your page loads overall)
- Interactivity (again about page load, how quickly can the visitor do something, like click on a link)
- Visual stability (another feature of speed- Does your website have elements that move slowly when loading)
- Mobile-friendliness (if your site isn’t mobile responsive by now, you really need to invest in a design upgrade)
- Safe browsing (is your website malware-free. If you get hacked and don’t know it, your site rankings are in jeopardy)
- HTTPS (If you don’t have an SSL certificate, it’s affecting your rankings)
- No Intrusive Interstitials (Do you have lots of popups on your site? Time to lose them)
The best way to think about these changes is to remember one thing: it’s very important that you pay attention to how fast your page loads. Google is reading this using a tool called Lighthouse. This can be installed in Chrome for the measurement of your website pages. However, Lighthouse simulates your page loading.
I recommend using GTMetrix for this measurement because it’s based on the actual load and also using Lighthouse factors in the reading.
You can test your website here:
How to properly test your page in Google LightHouse:
- Open an incognito window in Chrome. This is important because Chrome add-ons can be a problem when you run the report.
- Load your website page in the browser.
- Click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of your toolbar
- Go to More Tools and on the menu flyout, choose Developer Tools
- A panel will appear on the right side of the screen to run a test. All categories will be checked. You can run a report for Mobile or Desktop. Remember, Google is ranking on your Mobile score.
Run both reports and print.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact me and we can set up a quick call to discuss your website performance.