Google Core Web Vitals Metrics for 2021 SEO

Google Announces Core Web Vitals. Start Planning.

Coming sometime in 2021, Google will be changing the way site speed affects search rankings. The new ranking signal will be lovingly titled the “page experience signal” and will be combined with Core Web Vitals per an announcement from Google. Google suggests you’ll be given notice six-months before rolling out the changes, so you don’t have to respond immediately. But it would be wise to start preparing now.

This looks like a positive change. And since this algorithm change is about a year away, and users have a tool to help optimize for it, you have time to take advantage of this site speed reporting change. Specifically, the new rankings deal with user experience are part of the Core Web Vitals introduced in May 2020. The signals will measure:

Google's Core Web Vitals Metrics for SEO

• Loading (Largest Contentful Paint): This is the time it takes for a page to load. An ideal measurement is 2.5 seconds or faster.
• Interactivity (First Input Delay): This covers how long it takes for a page to become interactive. An ideal measurement is less than 100 milliseconds.
• Visual stability (Cumulative Layout Shift): This covers the amount of unexpected layout shift of visual content. An ideal measurement here is less than 0.1.

While these changes will benefit organic search, it’s useful for all channels as they will clearly impact the user experience. For example, if you can get your load time under 2.5 seconds for every page in the user’s journey, conversion rate should increase and cost per conversion will likely decrease, too.

The metrics are based on the Chrome User Experience project, a monitoring function in the Chrome browser that sends data about page load speeds to Google. The company says its goal is to help website builders and owners create pages that users find useful and enjoyable.

Be aware that site speed is not replacing content as a primary ranking metric, it’s supporting it. As Google explains it, page experience will be especially important when there are multiple pages with similar content. In those cases, the pages with the best site speed and overall experience will earn a higher ranking. That means quality content plus optimized site speed equals better rankings for your site.

What should you do now?

Panic! Just kidding, don’t do that. Simply start getting ready. We recommend getting a complete understanding of where you sit now. Use one of the many evaluation tools to identify your LCP, FID, CLS metrics for each key template page on your site. For example, VereNorth will evaluate our unique pages such as our homepage, category pages, blog home, blog post template, and contact forms. Once we know how each key unique page measures up, we can then begin prioritizing what we need to fix.

Prioritize by knocking off common issues across each page, and then begin tuning the priority pages and easier wins. If you find you have a large-ish issue that is outside of your control, such as a slow hosting provider, you can start shopping for a new provider. It comes down to prioritizing what you can control and the impact. Start now and you have plenty of time.

If you have questions about Core Web Vitals, or about site performance in general, contact the Verenorth team today.

Image SEO: How To Optimize Images For Better Ranking

Image SEO: How To Optimize Images For Better Ranking

We hate to break it to you, but you may have an image problem. Here’s why:

In February 2018, Google made a big change when it removed the “view image” option. Now when you search for images, if you want to enlarge or copy it, you must click the “visit” button and go to the website where the image lives.

This means image SEO is more important than ever. But where do you start? Check out some of our top image tips below.

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Google My Business Posts For Small Businesses

Google My Business Posts For Small Businesses

For small business owners, any tool that you can use to help bring information about your company to potential customers is a good thing. The more you can do to reach new people and keep your name in the minds of existing customers is worth looking into. With that in mind, Google has created Google Posts, a new way of communicating with your customers from your Google My Business listing.

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How To Get Into Google’s Answer Box – Simplified

Since 2013, when searchers have used Google to answer a question, or do a search about something that Google could infer as a question, at the very top of their results they have included an area that “answers” the question.  That little spot is Google’s Answer Box, and yeah, it’s a big deal.

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Originally released in February 2011, Google Panda is an on-going upgrade of Google’s search results ranking algorithm. The purpose of Panda is to put higher-quality sites near the top of organic search results while pushing low-quality sites further down the list.

Panda does this by acting as a filter to eliminate search results that are not useful to users such as those created only to attract traffic in order to get impressions and display advertising. Low-quality websites are also referred to as “thin,” which often means there are a lot of ads yet relatively little quality content.

So what exactly does high quality mean to Google? In a word: content. You must have relevant, unique, and valuable content on your site or you will be penalized with lower search rankings. But since quality is a subjective term, below are some specific things to remember when creating content. Read our previous post to learn more about Google Panda 4.2.

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Google Panda 4.2, which is actually the 30th Panda refresh overall, was rolled out on July 18, 2015. But it’s a slow rollout that is expected to take several months to complete. This blog post is designed to help you understand what the latest update means, and offer tips on improving your website ranking and overall user experience.

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Is your website mobile-friendly? Better catch up!

Google recently threw down the mobile gauntlet. On April 21, 2015, changes went into effect that raise the importance of the mobile friendly website.

The changes greatly expand Google’s use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, which impacts mobile organic search. So make sure you’re ready!

Simply put, these changes are huge. To put it in perspective, Zineb Ait Bahajji of Google’s Webmaster Trends team said at SMX Munich that the changes would be more significant than their Google Panda and Google Penguin updates. Need we say more? You can read the official Google announcement here.

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3 Quick Site Speed and Performance Improvements for WordPress

If you’re hosting your WordPress site on GoDaddy, specifically with cPanel, here are 3 quick optimizations you can make to improve your site speed and server performance.

Site speed and server performance have the ability to affect so much these days. From user experience to SEO to paid ads to a site’s conversion rate, a slow site can wreak havoc on all of your channels. We hope these tips help.

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