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Search Console looks at your vitals

Eagle-eyed Google Search Console users may have just spotted a small change, with the site speed report renamed as “Core Web Vitals”. Google says: “Measuring the quality of user experience has many facets. While some aspects of user experience are site and context specific, there is a common set of signals — ‘Core Web Vitals’ — that is critical to all web experiences.” Such core user experience needs, it continues, include:

  • Largest Contentful Paint: perceived load speed; marks the point in the page load timeline when the page’s main content has likely loaded;
  • First Input Delay: responsiveness; quantifies the experience users feel when trying to first interact with the page; and
  • Cumulative Layout Shift: visual stability; quantifies the amount of unexpected layout shift of visible page content.

Google has a new help document for this report.

If this sounds a bit geeky, that’s because it is. But elements such as these form the small but critical differences between neighbouring search positions. It’s worth getting to know them to identify your website design weaknesses.