Web Vitals for 2021: What You Need to Know

by Lars Miller | Jan 12, 2021

Google is changing its search algorithm in 2021 to include a few web vitals that they have specifically defined and are able to measure. All of these changes have an effect on how we make websites but are in line with what we believe is important – relevant content and a fast, intuitive web experience. The new Web Vital metrics have nothing to do with content, but everything to do with having a fast, intuitive enjoyable web experience. This is how Google is going to rank you in search results now, so it’s important to pay attention.

Mobile browsing has finally crossed that 50% threshold (meaning more than 50% are using a mobile device to access the internet), so Google will now be only assessing your web pages as to how they appear and perform on mobile devices. Specifically, Google will be testing your webpages “using a simulated mobile device, throttled to a fast 3G network & 4x CPU slowdown.” When was the last time you pulled up your website on a 3G network? It’s a frustrating experience, to say the least. Time to improve on these metrics!

Here are the web vitals Google is now looking at:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metric reports the render time of the largest image or text block visible within the viewport. – https://web.dev/lcp/

First Input Delay (FID)

FID measures the time from when a user first interacts with a page (i.e. when they click a link, tap on a button, or use a custom, JavaScript-powered control) to the time when the browser is actually able to begin processing event handlers in response to that interaction. – https://web.dev/fid/

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

CLS measures the sum total of all individual layout shift scores for every unexpected layout shift that occurs during the entire lifespan of the page. – https://web.dev/cls/

Your Metrics

Want to see how your webpages are doing on a 3G-networked mobile phone? Visit https://web.dev/measure/. Remember to cut yourself some slack – these are NEW metrics. There’s nowhere to go but up!

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 by Lars Miller

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