Ep 33: Core Web Vitals Update

Jul 22, 2021

Today on Marketing In 10, we’re talking SEO. Google’s latest, big algorithm shift started rolling out in June. That’s the page experience and Core Web Vitals update. So we’ll talk about the impact on the SEO world right after this.

Hey, everybody. Jim Lastinger here. Welcome to another episode of Marketing In 10. Today, we’re talking a little bit of SEO. And if you’ve been in the SEO world, then you’ve undoubtedly been bombarded with info about the Core Web Vitals update and how they’re going to impact the SEO world and mark a big shift in how we approach SEO going forward. That’s something that I definitely believe has been overstated quite a bit, but that’s what we’re going to talk about today. And I’ll tell you a little bit about what I’ve seen so far in my clients’ sites.

So first, I’ll give you a kind of brief overview of what Core Web Vitals is. This is Google’s plan to focus on page speeds as a major ranking factor. For the last however many years, page speed has been a ranking factor, but now Google is apparently going to give us a little bit more insight into that as to what specifics, aspects of page speed are going to impact your ranking, such as Largest Contentful Paint, what things we need to be focusing on, being a little bit more specific than page speed in general.

So Google has lots of tools available for this. I suggest you take a look at your own site’s performance and see if there’s some quick wins you can implement. And I’ll put links for some of these things in the show notes, which will be up at jimlastinger.com/33. This rollout was originally supposed to happen back in May 2021, but it was delayed a little bit. It actually started rolling out mid-June and should be finished by the end of August. I’m recording this at the end of June. So we’ve got a little bit of that time period has passed. So there’s definitely still probably more to come by the end of August.

So what have I actually seen as a result of this Core Web Vitals update so far? Honestly, I haven’t seen anything change yet. If you’ve worked with a lot of real-world sites like I have, then you realize it’s actually pretty difficult to get good grades on the PageSpeed tools that Google is recommending. To get passing scores, you’re going to have to do some heavy work with a developer. My thinking is that 90% of sites so far haven’t really done anything to improve their page speeds specific to Core Web Vitals. So that means 90% of rankings should probably stay pretty close to where they are now. For the remaining 10% of sites that actually have done some work, is it possible that they’re going to improve their scores and get some sort of ranking benefit? Absolutely, it’s possible, but I haven’t seen any evidence of that. And like I said, we’re still early into this process. So I’ll update you if I see something that’s contrary to that.

Interesting, really, a recent search metrics study estimated that less than 4% of websites passed all of their Core Web Vitals tests. So if you haven’t worked on this very much, then you’re in good company. Nobody else has either. I’ll put a link to the study in the show notes at jimlastinger.com/33. And Google itself is even now saying that page experience is just one of the many ranking factors and won’t drastically alter search results. That’s a far cry from the doom and gloom in the SEO industry when this stuff was first announced about a year ago.

So don’t get me wrong. I recommend everybody put in the work to make sure their sites load as quickly as possible because that’s definitely tied to improved user experience, better bounce rates, higher conversion rates, all that stuff. I just wouldn’t go through the effort for SEO’s sake. For the majority of sites, I still think it’s better to focus your efforts on improving your content or creating new content.

If you’ve seen any impact from this update, then let me know. I’d love to hear about it. You can leave a comment at jimlastinger.com/33 or email me. My email address is [email protected] And that’s all for this week’s episode. I’ll be back soon with another episode of Marketing In 10. Until then, have a great day.

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