What is Core Web Vitals?
Core Web vitals is a set of measurements that Google has looked into that addresses a number of real world questions such as how fast a page loads, how fast is can you interact with the page and how stable the experience of using the page is.
Why is Core Web Vitals important?
In The Science Behind Web Vitals we see that Google analysed the metrics and thresholds that they used to form Core Web Vitals. Based on this study we see that 24% of users are less likely to leave the page before it completely loads if a website meets the required thresholds of Core Web Vitals. Understandably Google had invested time to investigate these metrics and they have announced that Core Web Vitals will be added to how Google would rank pages when they evaluate page experience for their search results. The change is expected sometime in 2021 in response to the effects of COVID-19, Google will also be providing a 6-month notice before the change is rolled out.
How is Core Web Vitals Measured?
There are 3 sets or metrics that are part of Core Web Vitals:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
LCP looks at the largest elements on a web page and how it affects how long the page loads. In order to provide a good user experience LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds when the page starts loading. LCP looks at Images on the page and used as background elements, images inside SVG elements, video elements and block level elements.
First Input Display (FID)
FID looks at how long an interaction takes when a user first interacts with the web page. Examples of interactions would be when a user clicks on a link or taps on a button. Do note that FID does not measure how long it takes to process and complete the action performed but how long before it starts acting upon the action performed. To take a restaurant analogy, this is the time it takes a waiter to act upon receiving the order from a customer and not the time it takes the for the food to arrive on the table. To provide a good user experience, websites should have FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
CLS measures the visual stability of web pages and checks if the layout of the page suddenly changes as the page is loading. A common example where we see a poor experience of this is reading articles. Some websites show text information immediately as the web page is still loading. This allows users to start reading the articles as rest of the page loads. However this experience is degraded if there are elements of the page that loads and pushes or moves the text someone is reading to another location. This becomes very annoying to users because they now need to reorient themselves with the page and find where they had left off when the layout of the page changed. To provide a good user experience websites should aim to have a CLS score of less than 0.1
How can DQM Help?
DQM looks at areas of the page that content editors as well as developers could potentially update. Of these 3 metrics LCP is an area where DQM can help.
Of the different elements that affect LCP what is most likely available in most websites would be images, and this is one area where DQM can help improve.
DQM has 2 checkpoints that look at large image sizes:
Checkpoints - Images larger than 500 KB
Checkpoints - Images between [50 – 200] KB
These two checkpoints can also be customized to further align to the requirements of your organization.
In relation to FID and CLS these relate more on how the page is designed, hosting and the services that make up the website. While it is not yet in DQM rest assured that we are investigating ways on how we can show these metrics as well as other analytics measurement that affect your website quality. If you do have any requests on how you would like to view core web vitals in DQM do feel free to reach out to your Customer Success Manager or our Support team.