May marks the rolling out of the ranking signal boost, in order to be in line to benefit from the upcoming algorithm update, John Mueller from Google says that the minimum threshold for all three Core Web Vitals must be met, with Google offering 6 different ways of measuring Core Web Vitals. 

Recap of questions raised at the beginning of the latest Google Search Central SEO office hours Jan 29th – So how important is each of the three ‘vitals’? – The question everyone would like the answer to I am guessing! To what degree are they monitored? Does it matter if one of the core vitals is below Google’s requirement if the other two are met. And on that note, if one shows green and one shows yellow in Google’s testing tools, does that factor into its overall importance in attaining the boost?

Mueller’s much anticipated response was that these factors will be significantly important when the Core Web Vitals update launches in May., when asked if there would be more information released before the algorithm update rolls out, he said: “I suspect so”.

Google’s new standards (Core Web Vitals’) are for evaluating the quality of the user’s experience – whether or not it is good.

The much anticipated metrics

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This is the speed that the main content of a page loads. When landing on a page, it should load within 2.5 seconds.
  • First Input Delay (FID): This is the speed that users are able to interact on a page after they land. It should be within 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This measures how often a user experiences an unexpected shift in the layout. A CLS of less than 0.1 should be maintained.

Google’s John Mueller  was very cautious when questioned on the Core Web Vitals benchmarks, ensuring he did not reveal anything that had not come through Google’s official channels:

“My understanding is we see if it’s in the green and then that counts as it’s okay or not”

 “I don’t know what the final approach there will be”

“If we can recognize that a page matches all of these criteria then we would use that appropriately in search ranking”

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

He briefly suggested that there was an idea of a badge being tossed around, that Google will assign the badge to pages that meet their Core Web Vitals.

“The general guideline is we would also like to use this criteria to show a badge in search results, which I think there have been some experiments happening around that.”

It is not 100% decided on yet, but it would technically mean that a page will meet or exceed all three metrics.


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