Google recently announced a new set of ranking signals that are going to be combined with existing signals they use to measure user experience. There are three new signals that will be added to become one new combined ranking signal called Page Experience.
The first is called Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). It centers on how rapidly a page loads. Google is going to measure this by looking at the largest entity that’s on a website page. In many cases, it could be a large text block, or an image or a video, to get an idea of how fast it loads. Sites that take too long to load may be impacted.
The next factor is called Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). This zeros in on how long it takes for a web page to become stable as it loads. In most cases, this has to do with images being downloaded and resized. It’s frustrating when elements keep moving or the text shifts while you’re trying to read. Google wants the page to become stable as soon as possible.
Lastly, there is First Input Delay (FID) which focuses on how fast the page takes to become interactive (functional). Google doesn’t want the user to see a page that looks like it’s fully loaded but is not.
According to Google, they’ll start implementing this as part of their Page Experience ranking factor in 2021. They also indicated that they will give webmasters six months’ notice before they start implementing.
There is sufficient time to examine these issues (LCP, CLS & FID) and start making changes. Google’s created a new dashboard within Google Search Console (accounts) that can shed light on how your website stacks up.
If you need help with any of this, we’d welcome an opportunity to discuss.