Core Web Vitals SEO Updates for 2022
April 18th 2022 | By Emma Grant
It’s been a year now since Google introduced the Page Experience Signal, based on metrics known as Core Web Vitals. Twelve months on, we’re taking a look at what’s happened since the Core Web Vitals SEO update, and what to expect from CWV in 2022.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals were introduced to help website owners optimise their sites with a view to providing a positive user experience.
The current set of Core Web Vitals includes:
- Largest Contentful Paint – how fast a web page loads
- First Input Delay – how quickly a page becomes interactive
- Cumulative Layout Shift – how long before a page becomes stable
Web pages that pass each of the Core Web Vitals thresholds were supposed to rank better than those that didn’t. However, the impact of the Core Web Vitals wasn’t as far reaching as Google had hoped. But this doesn’t mean that it’s going to disappear off the radar. In fact, this year, it’s expected that Google will increase the importance of CWV for ranking, as it adopts a gradual approach to implementation.
The evolution of Core Web Vitals in 2022 means staying on top of user experience is crucial
Google has itself said that Core Web Vitals will possibly evolve over time, and that it will introduce more page experience signals on a yearly basis. Its aim is to ‘further align with user expectations and increase the aspects of user experience that we can measure.’
So, despite the fact that your website is doing well under current measures, it remains a wise strategy to make sure that user experience continues to rank high on your agenda, because this is the very thing that Core Web Vitals is focused on, and that any changes will affect.
Desktop traffic affected by Core Web Vitals
Whereas Core Web Vitals were only used as a ranking factor for mobile search results, from February this year, Google started to incorporate page experience measures into its desktop rankings.
Other desktop page experience indicators such as site security, a form of technical SEO, will stay the same. But mobile friendliness will not have any effect on desktop rankings.
Whilst it is not yet clear what the impact of this update will be, it does mean that those websites relying on desktop traffic will need to take note and ensure their user experience is good enough to comply with CWV.
Core Web Vitals 2022 – if you’re not taking note, your competitors certainly will be
Lots of website owners have been working hard to make sure their sites are optimised for Core Web Vitals.
Data from Google’s monthly user experience report reveals that in the six months between May and October 2021, overall CWV compliance increased by 58 per cent worldwide.
These are the stats:
- Largest Contentful Paint – 44 per cent compliance
- First Input Delay – 91 per cent compliance
- Cumulative Layout Shift – 71 per cent met requirements
So, if you’re not optimising for Core Web Vitals, it’s clear to see that you’re in the minority, which isn’t going to be good news for your online competitiveness.
New Core Web Vitals metric on the horizon for 2022
It is widely believed that there is a new Core Web Vital metric on the cards for 2022.
Last year, Google published a blog detailing a few ideas from the Chrome Speed Metrics team on how Google could better assess the responsiveness of websites to users. The blog explored the current input metric, First Input Delay, and suggested a number of replacement possibilities.
First Input Delay measures how long it takes between a user requesting an action and the website completing it. However, it only measures a small section of a user’s interaction with a web page, so really it serves only as the smallest measurable waiting period that a user will experience.
For this reason, Google is looking for a new metric to help measure:
- Responsiveness of all user inputs, rather than just the very first one
- The full duration of the event, rather than just the delay
- Events that happen as part of the same user interaction, together with the entire duration of that process
- An aggregate score for all interactions that happen during the full lifecycle of a web page
Whilst there is no confirmation that this new metric will be introduced in 2022, as Google is already talking about it, there is every chance it is soon to come. What’s more, as we’ve already mentioned, it’s apparent that Google is looking at Core Web Vitals as a concept that’s becoming increasingly important during this year.
Are you on top of Core Web Vitals?
We’ve been hot on the case of Core Web Vitals SEO here at Figment ever since the very first news hit the industry.
It’s so important to get it right with CWV, which is why we place huge importance on creating the best possible user experience and factor it in as a crucial part of our managed SEO campaigns.
If you’d like to make sure your website, and your business, are ready for Core Web Vitals 2022 so that you don’t lose out to the competition, you are welcome to talk to Figment.