Google: All Core Web Vitals May Need to Be Met For Ranking Boost

All three Core Web Vitals benchmarks must be met in order to qualify for the ranking signal boost rolling out this May, says Google’s John Mueller.

This topic came up right at the start of the latest Google Search Central SEO office-hours on January 29.

A question is asked regarding how much it matters if one of the Core Web Vitals is below Google’s requirements when the other two are met.

And does it matter if Google’s testing tools shows one of the Web Vitals in the yellow rather than in the green?

We come to learn through Mueller’s response that these things will be of significant importance when the Core Web Vitals update launches this May.

Core Web Vitals are Google’s new standards for evaluating whether a page provides a good user experience.

The metrics consist of:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures the speed at which a page’s main content is loaded. This should occur within 2.5 seconds of landing on a page.
  • First Input Delay (FID): Measures the speed at which users are able to interact with a page after landing on it. This should occur within 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures how often users experience unexpected layout shifts. Pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.

Google offers 6 different ways of measuring Core Web Vitals. As we learn from Mueller, all minimum requirements need to be met to benefit from the upcoming algorithm update.

Google’s John Mueller on Core Web Vitals

When it comes to testing your site to see how well it meets the Core Web Vitals benchmarks it’s important for all 3 metrics to be met, Mueller says.

“My understanding is we see if it’s in the green and then that counts as it’s OK or not. So if it’s in yellow then that wouldn’t be in the green, but I don’t know what the final approach there will be.

There are a number of factors that come together and I think the general idea is if we can recognize that a page matches all of these criteria then we would like to use that appropriately in search ranking.

I don’t know what the approach would be where there are some things that are OK and some things that are not perfectly OK, like how that would balance out.”

Mueller tip-toes around the subject as he’s careful not to reveal anything that hasn’t been communicated through Google’s official channels.

When asked if there will be more information available before the algorithm update rolls out in May, Mueller says, “I suspect so.”

He briefly touches on the idea being tossed around that Google will introduce a badge in search results for pages that pass Google’s Core Web Vitals.

If that were to roll out, which is not 100% decided yet, then it would need to signify the page meets or exceeds all three metrics.

“The general guideline is we would also like to use this criteria to show a badge in search results, which I think there have been some experiments happening around that.

And for that we really need to know that all of the factors are compliant. So if it’s not on HTTPS then essentially even if the rest is OK then that wouldn’t be enough.”

Hear the full discussion in the video below: