Google Updates: Websites Must Now Pass Core Web Vitals To Rank in Search

Google Updates: Websites Must Now Pass Core Web Vitals To Rank in Search

As every experienced website owner knows, Google has issued several major web performance updates in recent years. Among these, we can include the mobile-first indexing in 2016, the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in 2017, and the Speed Update in 2019. More recently, however, the search engine giant has also announced its upcoming Page Experience updates and Google Core Web Vital Rankings, set to change Google’s entire algorithm.

To put it simply, every site with performance issues in terms of its page speedpage loadgood user experience, or user interaction will start ranking lower than it currently does on the Google search result pages. This update is set to roll out in May 2021 and may also indicate the site speed in Google SERPs. Google also mentioned that there would be a minimum threshold for all Google Core Web Vitals that need to be met to benefit from the associated ranking signal.

What Are the Core Web Vitals?

The Page Experience update is based on three Core Web Vitals metrics called: the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), the First Input Delay (FID), and the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). The Core Web Vitals will be Google’s new standard for evaluating a website in terms of its page experience.

The Google Core Web Vitals metrics consist of:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures when the largest content element becomes visible on the screen. This should happen within 2.5 seconds of landing on the page for at least 75% of visitors.
  2. First Input Delay (FID): The second Core Web Vital measures when a visitor first interacts with a page to the time the browser will respond to that interaction. The FID needs to be within 100 milliseconds or less and 75% of the time to be considered good.
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): The third Core Web Vital measures the frequency at which users will experience an unexpected layout shift (jank). This is when the page “bounces” around, trying to readjust its layout. To be considered a good experience, the CLS needs to be less than 0.1.

The Core Web Vitals score is measured through the Chrome User Experience Report, also known as Chrome UX Report, or simply CrUX. This report is based on the actual user experience of people browsing the web. And while each Core Web Vital uses different thresholds, they are all ranked as either good, needs improvement, or poor.

Is 2/3 Good Enough?

Some may wonder how much of a difference is there if one of the three Core Web Vitals is below the requirements when the other two are met. According to John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, all three CWVs benchmarks need to be met to qualify for the ranking signal of May 2021.

In other words, every site owner looking to pass the Core Web Vitals algorithm update will need to meet each of these performance metrics on at least 75% of real-user page-load to be considered to provide a good user experience. Unfortunately, however, studies show that only about 12% of mobile and 13% of desktop results could pass this assessment.

According to Mueller: “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.

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

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

When asked about Google introducing a badge on the search result page, showing websites that pass Google’s Core Web Vitals, Muller also goes on to say that: “The general guideline is we would also like to use these 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, that wouldn’t be enough.”

While the badge rollout is not yet 100% decided on, Mueller mentioned that there would probably be more information made for the site owner available before the algorithm update will roll out in May. This will provide a problem and opportunity for websites worldwide.

We feel like websites with the approved quality badge, will most likely be clicked compared to the websites that aren’t optimized completely. The ones that don’t have Google approval, will almost act in the same way when you get a security warning when you try to access an unsecured page.


The new core web vitals, Google says the web vitals ranking signal will not kick in until May across the globe. We are already seeing major wins in organic traffic increases for the websites we have been able to fix and increase page speed and maintain each month. We have also noticed that many sites are climbing quickly in keyword rankings and organic traffic levels compared to competitors with unoptimized websites. This is certainly a ranking factor.

It’s still unknown just how much this will affect the entire internet, but since Google has been giving us warnings for over a year now to allow time for companies to prepare, this is shaping up to be the biggest and most profound move Google has made in 10 years.

It may look like a way to beat down smaller, poorly built websites. Still, it’s really to make sure that all websites perform perfectly for visitors when they click on a link and arrived on-site, no matter how big a site, who you are, or what you are providing to the visitor. Everyone must meet the new core web vital standards this year and provide the best user experience possible.

Improving the web for better search and user and page experience has always been Google’s goal. We stand behind them fully on this move, and we have been working with our technology partners to be sure that all of our managed websites will exceed these new standards before the core web vitals update.

We are currently ahead of the curve and leading this change aggressively, and offering a free core web vitals report for businesses if you are a WordPress site owner.

We predict that the big guys like Amazon and eBay will not have the time to prepare and completely redesign and restructure the platforms to meet these new standards.

This means that smaller, more flexible sites with the ability to move quickly, already winning in search.

We will update as things progress,

You can click here and take our FREE website audit and we will show you your current website quality and you will see if you meet the google core web vitals.

If you have any questions about this information, please email us directly at



WordPress Website Optimization Agency.

Have a Question?

Please fill in the form below, & we will respond shortly