Google's Core Web Vitals: New Google Ranking Factor 2020-21

There is no secret that content has long ruled the frontier of search engine optimization. To get good organic traffic, you need web pages to rank. These pages should be ranked for a diverse set of large keywords. If you can naturally earn authoritative inbound links to these pages, all the better. You are on the right track to preparing your site for organic success.

As we know essential elements of technical SEO like site speed, 404s, orphan pages, mobile UX, HTTPS, link structure - we all know how important these elements play in accessing the first page of search results?


They've always played a role, but that role is expected to become much more important when Google's new page experience update rolls out entirely in 2021. This update incorporates a new set of metrics known as Core Web Vitals in what Google has traditionally called "Page Experience."

So what are Google's Core Web Vitals:

Core Web Vitals are a set of specific factors that Google considers important in the overall user experience of a web page. Core Web Vitals are made up of three specific metrics of page speed and user interaction: largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift. In short, Core Web Vitals are a subset of factors that will be part of Google's “page experience” score (how Google will calculate your page's overall user experience).

These three things are the New Google ranking factor 2020-21. In other words, you will need to take these three elements into account to maximize your search ranking and keep your page in the top results.


Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

This element measures loading performance and the speed at which critical visual elements on your pages become available to the user after clicking them. Google says that to provide a good user experience, sites should strive for LCP to occur within the first 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load. You can test your LCP web page with the tools listed in this article.

First Input Delay (FID)


Like LCP, FID measures the time it takes for your page to become interactive so that users can click and search. Google says websites should strive for an FID of less than 100 milliseconds. You can measure the FID with the tools described in this article.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)


This item measures visual stability. For example, have you ever gone to type something on a page and then it suddenly moved or shifted like you did, and accidentally clicked on something else, taking you to the wrong destination? That's what it measures. With low stability it leads to a lower ranking.

How to analyse your Core web vitals performance?


Google PageSpeed Insight tool - Visit the tool & Input your URL. Your report will be generated. Toggle between Mobile and Desktop.

Google LightHouse tool

  • Open the site in your browser
  • Right-click & Inspect element
  • Select Lighthouse
  • Choose the device & Generate report

Google Search Console - Search Console also offers a great deal of information about the page performance. You can find Core Web Vitals as an enhancement feature on the search console, which indicates whether all the pages within the site are Web Vitals compliant.


Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, these three metrics measure how long it takes for a user to access your page, how easy/difficult it is for the user to initially interact with your page, and how easy/difficult for the user to become disoriented due to inconsistencies/changes in your page design.

Core Web Vitals might seem like a complicated concept, but getting a perfect Core Web Vitals score isn't a gigantic task. This will improve the user experience by several folds and improve conversions. With this, Google will now ensure that websites put user experience first. Failure to do so will result in consequences such as loss of web traffic and SERP ranking.