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Google will factor page speed, ‘Core Web Vitals’ when ranking Search results

At the start of May, the Chrome team established metrics for building fast websites. Google today announced plans to incorporate “Core Web Vitals,” like page speed, when ranking how sites appear in Search next year.

The Core Web Vitals are currently comprised of three real-world metrics relating to speed (load time), responsiveness/interactivity, and visual stability of pages — like accidentally tapping the wrong button due to a site unexpectedly moving. These signals capture the end user experience, especially on mobile. They are surfaced across Google’s development tools (Lighthouse, PageSpeed Insights, and Search Console) to let website owners gauge performance.

The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile.

An upcoming Search change will see Google incorporate those page experience metrics when ranking results. It will become one of the hundreds of signals — like HTTPS, mobile friendliness, and lack of pop-ups — that the engine uses to determine how sites are arranged and ordered for users. The company hopes to ultimately create a “holistic picture of the quality of a user’s experience on a web page.”

Because we continue to work on identifying and measuring aspects of page experience, we plan to incorporate more page experience signals on a yearly basis to both further align with evolving user expectations and increase the aspects of user experience that we can measure.

Google Search speed

Google today said it “will prioritize pages with the best information overall,” but noted how performance is important when there are multiple sites with similar content.

Besides Search results, the new page speed metrics will be factored when ranking news that appears in the Top Stories carousel/list on the mobile web. Google will no longer require that sites be Accelerated Mobile Pages to appear. Google made this change in April for COVID-related content, with the upcoming move still linking to AMP in mobile Search when available.

This change will not come into effect until next year, with Google providing at least six months notice. There is “no immediate need to take action.”

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: