Marketing 3 min read

Blocking Countries with Slow Internet to Improve Core Web Vitals

Hebi B /

Hebi B /

In an SEO Office Hours video, Google‘s Martin Splitt answered a question on blocking countries with slow internet to improve Core Web Vitals.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals refer to a set of page metrics that helps site owners measure users’ experience on their page. According to Google, these metrics will become a ranking factor in 2021.

Two types of Core Web Vitals scores exist — Lab measurement and Field metrics.

While the former measures simulated visits from bots, the latter refers to actual scores from site visitors. Besides, Google also uses the field metrics to generate a score for ranking purposes.

There’s just one primary concern with using real-world field data for ranking purposes. And that’s a slow internet connection.

Impact of Slow Internet Connection on Core Web Vitals Score

The belief is that site visitors with a slow connection can make a site seem slower, leading to a lower Core Web Vitals score. As a result, such a site could suffer a drop in search ranking.

Recently, a site owner asked Splitt whether blocking countries with a slow connection could help.

The question reads:

“The question is if I have, for example, low return on investment from countries with slow internet connections with a large population, does it make any sense to cut them from accessing my website since they have a slow connection that hurts my field scores?”

In response, Martin noted that that strategy focuses primarily on the Core Web Vitals. “And that’s really really risky,” he said.

Here’s why.

Why Blocking Countries with Slow Internet is a Bad Idea

According to Splitt, blocking countries with a slow internet connection may not be the best idea. And that’s because people from these countries can still access the site through a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

“And then the speed is even slower, so not helping,” he said.

Splitt also pointed out that Core Web Vitals are Page Experience are only two in a hundred ranking factors. As such, it’s essential not to overestimate their influence on search ranking.

Splitt explained:

“Because again, there are hundreds of ranking factors. Speed is not the only thing. Because if speed would be the only thing, then a blank website would rank really well because it’s really, really, fast. Right?”

Several ranking factors are more critical than the Core Web Vitals. So, taking extra steps to manipulate the scores might backfire in other ways.

Watch the full video here: 

Read More: Google Confirms Launching Subtopics Ranking Update

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