Core Web Vitals – one year on
Here are our findings on Core Web Vitals one year later, including some bigger and bolder effects amongst our clients, as well as more significant trends across industry reports.
Time flies. It’s been a year since the first release of Core Web Vitals, and over two years since Google originally announced the big change.
Was the algorithm as big as once thought?
Our first post Core Web Vitals algorithm round-up found some small effects a few months on from the initial launch. Here are our findings one year on, including some bigger and bolder effects amongst our clients, as well as more significant trends across industry reports.
Core Web Vitals: What are they?
A key part of Google’s Page Experience Update, Core Web Vitals measures a webpage’s user experience across 3 key metrics. Here’s our full write-up on what Core Web Vitals are.
The impact of Core Web Vitals on our clients
The algorithm for mobile was released in May 2021, whereas desktop was launched much later in March 2022. We saw significantly more possible impacts from the desktop go-live.
We’ve looked at four of our largest organic clients, all of whom all pass Core Web Vitals desktop with flying colours. We’ve looked at organic visibility before and after the desktop release; all four websites have achieved an average increase in first page rankings of 84%. That’s significantly more visibility for organic search. Whilst we can’t put 2+2 together with SEO, the improvements fit the algorithm release timeframe.
Google’s announcements on the algorithm update
Google normally keep quiet when it comes to their algorithm updates, and the only official announcements they’ve made are those confirming the release dates.
Interestingly, they’ve released various case studies showing the business value, across a range of metrics, of optimising for Core Web Vitals.
Vodafone improved their LCP scores by 31% and saw an increase in sales by 8%.
ru’s CWV enhancements resulted in an average 10% increase in conversion rates.
The Economic Times now pass all 3 CWV thresholds and improved their bounce rate by 43%.
Core Web Vitals industry report findings
Searchmetrics’ report looked at the top 100 ranking domains in the US, as well as an industry average dashboard which accumulates data for over 1 million domains.
For the top 100 domain’s desktop scores, LCP and FID passed. CLS scores on the dashboard average were significantly worse than the top 100, which were just outside of the threshold. This tells us that the top 100 domains outperform the industry average.
Looking at mobile, the top 100 passed all 3 metrics, whereas the dashboard showed that LCP needed improvements. Again, the top 100 domains performed better on average.
In summary, this tells us that the top-ranking domains do perform better overall for Core Web Vitals.
Industry trends illustrate that B2B and healthcare perform best for Core Web Vitals, with fashion and travel the poorest performing industries. Only 25% of mobile fashion domains passed Core Web Vitals.
Brand effect and SEO
One of the biggest challenges in SEO is competing with major brands. The top 10 domains, including Wikipedia, Youtube and Amazon, nearly always out-rank everyone else. They’ve got the expertise, authority and trust that other brands simply can’t beat.
Not all the global top 10 domains pass Core Web Vitals, but they win on brand effect. Users are more likely to click a brand they recognise and trust, regardless of the page experience. And larger brands will typically rank highly because of their authority, even if they have poorer CWV performances.
Use Core Web Vitals to your advantage
Just because the big players don’t perform as well at CWV, it doesn’t mean that Core Web Vitals isn’t important, in fact it’s quite the opposite. You might not be able to outspend big brand competitors, but getting CWV right is one area where you can gain an advantage.
Like any problem in SEO, it’s about creating an SEO plan that strategically tackles the competitive landscape and gains visibility where it’s going to be effective and efficient.
Have you had any implications from Core Web Vitals, or are you looking to get your website back up to speed? Get in touch with us, we’re more than happy to help.