Core Web Vitals and highlighting live in May 2021

Core Web Vitals and highlighting live in May 2021

Things just got real! We already knew about Core Web Vitals. Google now published that your website will be highlighted within the Google search result pages.

So far, we didn't know when exactly Core Web Vitals would become part of ranking. But now we do: May 2021.

Today we’re announcing that the page experience signals in ranking will roll out in May 2021

Google Webmaster Central Blog

How will pagespeed highlighting take place?

Google is talking about a visual indicator. But how exactly, isn't known yet. But now we do know it will be rolled out in May 2021. Meanwhile, Google plans to test a visual indicator that highlights pages in search results that have great page experience. This means some users may already see something happening within the SERP's.

AMP indicator

Remember the AMP indication within the search results pages? This was a small grey thunderbolt icon next to the breacrumb path of a result. Google could choose to use a similar indication.

This expectation turned out to be correct. The first tests have been spotted and the Core Web Vitals visual indicator looks like an altered AMP icon.

Could we see this coming?

Kinda, to be honest, as Google already announced other visual indicators to let users know if they can expect a good user experience within the site they tend to visit.

Nevertheless, it does come as a surprise to me that on top of Core Web Vitals becoming part of a ranking factor, it will also come with a visual indicator.

Is it about Core Web Vitals only?

Core Web Vitals is about real user experience, but UX is obviously broader than just pagespeed metrics such as LCP, FID and CLS. Other components of Search’s signal for page experience are:

  • Mobile friendly;
  • Safe browsing;
  • HTTPS;
  • No intrusive interstitials.

Current Core Web Vitals situation

Most websites and webshops already implemented HTTPS, and are responsive, for example using Bootstrap to get a responsive mobile behaviour. Passing Core Web Vitals seems to be another challenge though, as only 24% of all 8 million websites have a good Core Web Vitals. Websites passing each individual Core Web Vital are as following:

  • 47% of origins have good Largest Contentful Paint;
  • 88% have good First Input Delay;
  • 52% have good Cumulative Layout Shift.

Source: Chrome UX Report on Twitter.