Marketing 3 min read

Sites Must Meet Minimum Threshold for Core Web Vitals

Tumisu / Pixabay.com

Tumisu / Pixabay.com

According to Google‘s John Mueller, sites must meet all three Core Web Vitals benchmarks to qualify for the ranking signal that’ll roll out in May.

Last year, the Chrome team introduced the Core Web Vitals — a standard for evaluating user experience on a page. Later, Google announced its intention to incorporate the new standards into its ranking algorithm.

The Three Metrics that Represent Core Web Vitals

The Core Web Vitals consist of three essential metrics:

  1. Large Contentful Paint (LCP) 
  2. First Input Delay (FID)
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

LCP measures the speed at which a page’s main content loads. Meanwhile, FID measures the speed at which users can interact with a page after landing on it.

Finally, we have the CLS, which quantifies how often users experience unexpected layout shifts of visible page content.

As you can imagine, Google recommended a minimum threshold for these metrics.

For example, the ideal LCP is 2.5 seconds or faster. Similarly, the ideal measurement for FID is 100 milliseconds. Finally, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.

But what happens if a site owner doesn’t meet the minimum threshold in any of these metrics?

That was one of the topics in the latest Google Search Central SEO office-hours. A site owner asked how much it matters if one of the Core Web Vitals is below Google’s requirement when the other two are met.

Also, does it matter if Google’s testing tools show one of the metrics in yellow instead of green?

Here’s Mueller’s response

Sites Must Meet All Core Web Vitals Thresholds to Qualify for Ranking Boost

According to Mueller, sites must meet the minimum thresholds for all three metrics to enjoy a ranking boost.

The webmaster trend analyst at Google admitted that several factors can influence how Core Web Vitals affect search ranking. However, meeting the metrics’ threshold could make all the difference.

Mueller explained:

“There are a number of factors that come together and I think the general idea is if we can recognize that a page matches all of these criteria then we would like to use that appropriately in search ranking.”

Mueller danced around the subject, perhaps to avoid revealing anything outside of Google’s official channels.

However, he hinted that more information should be available before the May algorithm update rolls out. Mueller also suggested that Google could introduce a badge for pages that pass the Core Web Vitals.

If the badge eventually rolls out, it would appear in Google’s search results. And it would imply that a specific page meets or exceeds all three metrics.

Mueller noted:

“The general guideline is we would also like to use this criteria to show a badge in search results, which I think there have been some experiments happening around that.”

Watch the full discussion below:

Read More: Page Experience to Become a Google Ranking Signal Soon

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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