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What Exactly Are Google’s Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals and SEO
Core Web Vitals and SEO

Core Web Vitals measure specific parts of your site as stand-ins for larger design concerns. But what are they and what are good scores?

Core Web Vitals and SEO

Google’s goal is to deliver the websites that searchers want to see. While this includes assessing content, it’s also about user experience. Their Core Web Vitals are an attempt to measure three important aspects of UX: loading, interactivity, and visual stability.

1. Loading: LCP

LCP is short for Largest Contentful Paint, and it measures how long it takes for the site to load the biggest thing, usually an image, on the page. Anything over 2.5 seconds needs improvement in Google’s eyes, a slight difference from the old 3 second rule in website design.

Core Web Vitals are an attempt to measure three important aspects of UX: loading, interactivity, and visual stability

2. Interactivity: FID

FID means First Input Delay, and it tracks the time between a website’s loading time and when it becomes clickable. Ideally, you want this to be less than 100 ms, with anything from there up to 300 ms as needing improvement.

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3. Visual Stability: CLS

CLS stands for Cumulative Layout Shift. Ever been to a website, tried to interact with it only for an element to load, throwing off the layout and causing you to click on something you never wanted? This is what CLS watches, and the less the better. A good user experience requires a CLS of 0.1 or less, with a CLS of up to 0.25 needing improvement.

Google’s Core Web Vitals are vital for SEO, but perhaps more importantly, they’re vital for a good UX. If a visitor encounters a site that takes forever to load, can’t be clicked on, and shifts around wildly making navigation difficult, they’re unlikely to come back. Keep your Core Web Vitals in mind for a site that will excel on SERPs and for your customers.

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Author Justin Robinson-Prickett

Justin Robinsion-Prickett is a content writer from Los Angeles with over a decade of experience in the auto industry under his belt. When not working, he enjoys fencing, re-editing dialogue in old movies to remove articles, and playing with his two dogs James Westphal and Dr. Kenneth Noisewater.

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