The Core Web Vitals initiative introduced by Google previously shook up the SEO landscape and had developers and site owners alike clamoring for answers. When would Web Vitals start to influence the organic search rankings, and what factors would play a role in evaluating the performance of each site on these new metrics?
We now have more answers to some of these questions, so it is a good time for an update. First, the timeline for the rollout of this initiative has come into focus – Core Web Vitals will begin playing a role in page ranking in May 2021. While it is yet to be seen how powerful the impact will be of these new metrics, we do know that May 2021 will be the starting point for including these measurements in the algorithm.
If any organizations were not yet paying attention to Core Web Vitals and their importance, the reality of it joining the page ranking signals equation should get their attention. This is simply not a topic that you can afford to ignore any longer.
Establishing the Right Perspective
With any looming change to the way Google ranks pages, there is a tendency among a portion of the web world to be fearful and anxious regarding how the changes will impact their business. That’s understandable, but it’s not always rational.
There is no reason to expect that the addition of Core Web Vitals to the page ranking process in May 2021 to dramatically upset the current order of things in the search results. That’s typically not how it works with updates like this, so those fears can largely be set to the side. Does that mean you can ignore Web Vitals and other page experience issues? Of course not – but view them as just another thing you need to monitor in the overall care and development of your site.
An Ongoing Process
Rather than seeing May 2021 as some kind of deadline for the importance of Core Web Vitals, view it instead as a starting point. As these factors become more important in the ranking of pages, there are sure to be ongoing changes to how they are implemented and what they mean for your site. In fact, Google has a Changelog available for you to keep track of changes as time goes by.
It’s highly unlikely that the majority of sites in any given niche will be optimized for Core Web Vitals factors by May 2021. In fact, depending on the market and the type of competition that is present, it’s possible that very few sites in the niche are paying close attention to these developments. So, as a website owner or developer, simply paying attention to these metrics and making the necessary adjustments to optimize your site’s performance should go a long way toward preserving or even improving your rankings.
One of Many Factors
If there is one thing you will hear from Google over and over again regarding the SEO game, is that there are many, many factors at play when a page is ranked. Allowing yourself to focus too tightly on any one topic, such as Core Web Vitals, could lead to neglect in other areas. So, whether it is the current attention on-page experience or whatever new points of focus will come along in the future, keeping the big picture in mind is the right approach to SEO.
Check out our Core Web Vitals checker we built out at the end of last year in anticipation of the upcoming changes!