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[Forum] E-commerce must prepare for Google's Core Web Vitals update

This article was originally published by Olivier Amici.

Last year, Google announced the update of the core web statistics, also known as Core Web Vitals. With this update (coming soon!), the digital giant is encouraging website owners to improve SEO and user experience.

Core Web Vitals, what is it?

Understanding the impact of Core Web Vitals starts with understanding the key indicators they gather. Indeed, these are performance indicators that according to Google remain essential to evaluate the page experience for a user. Three metrics in particular stand out: LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) and FID (First Input Delay). In other words, it is the measurement of loading speed (LCP), visual stability on the page (CLS) and interactivity (FID) that are favored.

Each metric covers a different aspect of the user experience. And since the announcement of the update, Google has detailed its requirements. For LCP, it must occur within 2.5 seconds of the start of the page load. A time between 2.5 and 4 seconds is considered "to improve" and a time greater than 4 seconds as "bad". As for interactivity (FID), it is measured by the time it takes between the first interaction of a user with a page element (click on a link for example) and the moment when this specific element starts processing in response to the user's action. Finally, for visual stability (CLS), Google indicates that elements should not move on a page while it is rendering or loading, which is particularly harmful to the user experience.

Optimizing Core Web Vitals: a major challenge, especially on mobile

Behind this update, Google clearly states its desire to create better web experiences for users. The impact is considerable for webmasters since it affects the positioning of a site on the SERPs (search engine results pages). Indeed, if a website gets bad Core Web Vitals ratings, it means that it offers a bad experience to users and that it is likely to be ranked lower on the SERPs. The stakes are high for sites to meet Google's requirements and optimize the user experience on their pages.

Even before the rollout of Google's update, which is expected to be completed for all URLs by the end of August, a Semrush study on Core Web Vitals revealed that pages with a "good" vitality index were already getting better search results. Still, there is a lot of work to be done on many mobile sites. In addition, Google has been saying this for years, especially with mobile first as only 16.2% of mobile URLs scored "good" in all three categories.

Sites that are not ready for this update risk not only losing their rankings, but also their customers. Indeed, underestimating the power of SEO and the need to provide a quality user experience is a dangerous game.

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