What are Google Core Web Vitals? (2021)

Google Core Web Vitals are a set of user-centered metrics that measure if your web or blog provides a good user experience to its visitors. Since May 2021, this is a ranking factor to take care of.

Before diving into Google Core Web Vitals and search engine optimization, it is important to remember a couple of things.

When we write a new post, we have to think about our readers, our community. We need to give them a good user experience.

If we give them a good user experience, those people will follow us on our social media channels and will share our posts.

So, if you make changes to your blog or website, like, for example, a new theme for your blog that helps with your loading time, think about whether that new theme will be liked by your reader or community.

Maybe you have a fast, new theme but it is not aesthetically pleasing for your community, you could lose readers.

Why am I telling you this?

Google is a search engine, not a social media channel like Facebook or Instagram, but Google still wants to provide a good user experience like any other social media platform.

For example, when you do a search on Google, you want to find the answer to your question in just one click, and that is what Google wants too.

But what would happen if you have a post that is the best answer under a Google search, but it takes more than 1.5 seconds to load?

The user has two options:

  • Do the search in another search engine (Bing or DuckDuckGo)
  • Re-type the query.

That is a bad user experience by Google’s standards.

Now Google is prioritizing blogs and web pages with good user experience and great content, among other ranking factors.

Google’s goal, as a tech company, is that we use all of their products and services, like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, etc.

If Google provides a good user experience with its search engine, you will be more inclined to try its other products.

Also, you have to remember that nobody, outside Google’s developers, knows all the ranking factors of Google.

And if you want to know more about SEO, you can read this post: Search Engine Optimization Tutorial for Beginners.

What are Google Core Web Vitals?

In simple terms, Google Core Web Vitals are a set of user-centered metrics to measure the user experience of your website or blog.

the technology savvy square google core web vitals

I am not a developer; for that reason I will not go too in-depth into the technicalities, but I will explain to you the three Google Core Web Vitals and how to deal with them.

With Google Core Web Vitals, the tech company focuses on the loading time of your website or blog.

Remember Google loves speed.

Performance metrics for the statistics of each Web Vital are graded according to three outcomes:

  • Good (passes)
  • Needs improvement
  • Fail

There are three Core Web Vitals:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This is the metric that marks the loading speed perceived by the user. That is, the LCP tells us the time it takes to fully load a website for the user. Specifically, the LCP tells us the time it takes to load and render the largest element in the graphics window.

You can improve your LCP by:

  • Removing any unnecessary third-party scripts
  • Upgrading their web host
  • Setting up lazy loading
  • Removing large page elements

The ideal LCP measurement should be 2.5 seconds or faster.

First Input Delay (FID): This is the metric that measures the minimum time in which a user can interact with the web page. The faster the FID, the better the experience the user has when visiting the web page.

You can improve your FID by:

  • Minimizing (or deferring JavaScript)
  • Removing any non-critical third-party scripts
  • Using a browser cache.

An ideal measurement for the FID is less than 100 ms.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This is the metric obtained by summing the cumulative loading time of all unexpected layout changes. That is, this metric tells us when unexpected changes in the web design stop occurring.

You can improve your CLS by:

  • Using set size attribute dimensions for any media (video, images, GIFs, infographics, etc.)
  • Making sure ads have a reserved space
  • Adding new UI elements below the fold.

The ideal measurement of CLS is less than 0.1 ms.

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How to measure Google Core Web Vitals?

You can measure Google Core Web Vitals on your search console or in the PageSpeed Insights by Google.

Personally, I use the PageSpeed Insight daily to check my Google Core Web Vitals.

Recently, I was achieving a score of 100% on the Google Core Web Vitals, but then Google updated its Lighthouse.

Lighthouse: The “Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can run it against any web page, public or requiring authentication. It has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO and more.”

PageSpeed uses Lighthouse for the testing of webs.

This tool constantly has updates, and for that reason your scores are not something fixed; your scores are always up and down.

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How to achieve a good Google Core Web Vitals Score?

Like I told you before, I am not a developer, just tech savvy. What I understand about Google Core Web Vitals is that you have to give a good user experience to your readers, and for that, you need a good loading time for your website or blog.

Right now my Google Core Web Vitals score for mobile is 98 and for desktop is 100.

But like I told you, that can change tomorrow; Google is always updating its Lighthouse.

If you want to have a score like mine, you have to do the following:

You need a Cloud Hosting Solution

A cloud hosting solution will give you fast loading times for your blog from the moment you have it. It’s like that.

I know it is a little more expensive than a shared hosting solution, but it is the key to having good Google Core Web Vitals.

My recommendation is Cloudways. You can read my review and learn how to implement it here: A CloudWays Review. 6 reasons to use the best hosting service.

Pick a good theme for your WordPress website or blog

I have to say that a good theme can either improve the loading time of your website or be a problem for you.

You can choose one because it looks great, but later can be a problem because it could be difficult to optimize.

My recommendation is to choose light themes like the one I use. I was lucky that this theme is very easy to optimize and always has updates.

You can read my review and my configuration here: Schema Theme Review: A Fast and SEO Friendly Theme for You.

Pick the right plugins for the performance of your WordPress website or blog

I use only two plugins for the performance of my WordPress blog:

  • WP Rocket that optimizes the cache
  • Perfmatters that perfectly complements WP Rocket.

You will see improvement in your WordPress website or blog by just implementing WP Rocket, but if you want to read about my implementation please read this post: WP Rocket Review: The right tool to speed up your site.

And you can learn why I use Perfmatters in this post and see my configuration: Perfmatters review. Make your WordPress site even faster.

Find the right content delivery network (CDN) for your blog

I don’t know why so many bloggers forget this important optimization. A cloud hosting solution is important but a good CDN is the perfect complement.

A CDN will distribute your content among several servers around the world so the content will be closer to your reader, which is good for the loading time.

If you want to know more about content delivery networks, you can read my post about them: What Is a CDN (Content Delivery Network)?

The CDN that I use is BunnyCDN. It is cheap and powerful and I haven’t had any problems. The configuration is easy with just a couple of clicks.

You can read my review and learn how to do the configuration here: BunnyCDN Review Fast and Affordable CDN.

Optimize your images

It’s good if you use Canva or Photoshop to edit your images because you can export them in PNG.

But now Google wants the images in the format of WebP.

The easy way I found to use that format is with the plugging Imagify.

You just need to install that plugin and, the next time you upload a photo, the plugin will convert it into WebP. Easy as that.

Fonts

Themes don’t come with fonts. What they do when you choose the fonts that you are going to use is to “call” that font from the cloud every time you or your reader click on your blog.

That can affect the loading speed of your blog.

To avoid that, what you can do is to locally host only the fonts that your blog uses.

You can do that by using the plugin OMGF. I am using the pro version and you just had to install the plugin to set up. It was amazing.

Conclusion about Core Web Vitals

As you can see, you can optimize the Core Web Vitals of your WordPress blog or website without a single line of code.

You just need to know the right plugins and do a few clicks for the configuration of the plugins.

I did not want to be technical in this post. For that, you have the reviews of the plugins where I show the best configuration for each one of them.