Skepticism of the Core Web Vitals Ranking Factor

Published on Friday, August 6th, 2021 by

Skepticism of the Core Web Vitals Ranking Factor.
Google’s John Mueller recently answered a question on Reddit that expressed skepticism of Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor. Mueller reaffirmed the importance of CWV as a ranking factor and should not be dismissed as a ranking factor.

Google Has Lowered Expectations of CWV Ranking Factor, so it’s not unexpected that members of the search community would express skepticism of the CWV ranking factor.

Core Web Vitals Ranking Factor

Is Core Web Vital a Ranking Factor?
Google itself has been downplaying how powerful CWV is as a ranking factor. John Mueller himself said this about Core Web Vitals:

“…relevance is still by far much more important. So just because your website is faster with regards to Core Web Vitals than some competitors doesn’t necessarily mean that …you will jump to position number one in the search results.”

Google published a Core Web Vitals FAQ that also lowered expectations of the CWV ranking factor.

Google’s John Mueller replied that affirmed that core web vitals should not be dismissed as a ranking factor.

He insisted that it could be felt more strongly in some sites than others. He wrote:

“It is a ranking factor, and it’s more than a tie-breaker, but it also doesn’t replace relevance.

Depending on the sites you work on, you might notice it more, or you might notice it less.

As an SEO, a part of your role is to take all of the possible optimizations and figure out which ones are worth spending time on.

Any SEO tool will spit out 10s or 100s of “recommendations”, most of those are going to be irrelevant to your site’s visibility in search.

Finding the items that make sense to work on takes experience.”

CWV Has Value Beyond Being a Ranking Signal
Mueller next stated that CWV has value that extends beyond a ranking signal, rightly pointing out that speed related user experiences can affect how much a website earns.

He pointed out the self-defeating nature of promoting a site to the top of the SERPs only to have the earnings never reach their potentials because of low page speed experiences. Mueller wrote:

“The other thing to keep in mind with core web vitals is that it’s more than a random ranking factor, it’s also something that affects your site’s usability after it ranks (when people actually visit).

If you get more traffic (from other SEO efforts) and your conversion rate is low, that traffic is not going to be as useful as when you have a higher conversion rate (assuming UX/speed affects your conversion rate, which it usually does).

CWV is a great way of recognizing and quantifying common user annoyances.”

Core Web Vitals is Important
Mueller expressed that Core Web Vitals is stronger and more important than a tie-breaker. He also pointed out how speed and page experience are important for monetizing a website to the fullest of its potential.

Mueller mentioned conversion rates but page speed can also improve ad impressions because there will be less people backing out of the site when it has a quality page experience.

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