Is Your Business Ready for Google’s Core Web Vitals 2021 Update?

Author: Myk Baxter

Announced back in May 2020, Google is gearing up to implement a new algorithm update this year with Core Web Vitals, focusing on changing how the search engine interprets and represents a website’s page loading speeds, interactivity and visual stability.

Official Ranking Factor

Core Web Vitals will become an official ranking factor for the Google search engine in May 2021. Highlighted as a new ranking factor, rather than an updated ranking factor, it aims to measure the physical user experience and technical effectiveness of a website, analyzed on a URL basis and ranked accordingly. 

Below are the values that Google’s Core Web Vitals 2021 will be measuring. Is your business ready for the change? 

If not, contact Myk Baxter Marketing today to see that your website is updated, optimised and made robust enough to adapt to this change and keep your name at the top of the search hits on Google in May 2021.


Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Before this update came into effect, the loading time for the first element of the website was deemed most important. However, following studies by Google, it was found that users only wait longer when they feel that the largest proportion of the page has already loaded. Therefore, with this update, Google will now be placing greater importance on the largest graphic element on the users’ screen, AKA the “Largest Contentful Paint”.

The update will measure LCP values as follows:

Good – less than 2.5 seconds

Needs Improvement – between 2.5 and 4 seconds

Poor – longer than 4 seconds


First Input Delay (FID)

The update will also bring greater focus on the interactivity of a web page, and how long it takes to react when a user interacts with it, such as when clicking on an interactive object. 

The update will measure FID values as follows:

Good – less than 100 milliseconds

Needs Improvement – up to 300 milliseconds

Poor – longer than 300 milliseconds


Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

The last of the Core Web Vitals 2021 update will look at the visual stability of a website. If your business operates a reasonably complex site, you’ll find it staggers loading sections of content, only loading what comes into the user’s view. 

Cumulative Layout Shift, or CLS, therefore refers to the time it takes for all elements to move into their final place and are no longer moving around. This could affect websites that have a lot of moving parts, or use moving elements to share their message, but it depends on the coding and how Google’s spiders interpret that more than how it appears to the user, as we’re dealing in milliseconds. 

The update will measure CLS values as follows:

Good – less than 100 milliseconds

Needs Improvement – between 100 and 250 milliseconds

Poor – longer than 250 milliseconds


How to Measure Core Web Vitals?

If you want to check whether your website is ready for the shift, you can access and review your website’s Core Web Vitals using the following options:

  • Google Search Console
  • PageSpeed Insights
  • Lighthouse Audit in Chrome Dev Tools
  • Web Vitals Extension for Chrome

Alternatively, you can contact the SEO marketing experts at Myk Baxter Marketing for a fully comprehensive Core Web Vitals Review and solutions to fixing any issues identified. 

The Core Web Vitals update will come into action in May 2021, so you have until then to check your website and get ready for the update.