Why Fixing Core Web Vitals Already Boosts Rankings

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Site publishers are reporting increased rankings after improving their Core Web Vitals scores. Google’s Martin Splitt answers the question of whether those ranking boosts are because of a Page Experience update testing and explained why the Google rankings improved for those publishers.

Loren Baker noted that there have been many comments from publishers who improved their core web vitals scores and experienced improved rankings. This has led to speculation that Google may be testing new core web vitals scoring.

Loren asked Martin Splitt:

“Is this an indication that the Page Experience Update may be testing right now, perhaps on the weekends, and/or slowly rolling out before it officially does?

Or is it a coincidence?”

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As Loren read the question, Martin Splitt could be seen on the screen shaking his head indicating his answer is going to be no.

Screenshot of Martin Splitt Shaking His Head to Say No

Three images of Martin Splitt combined to show him shaking his headMartin Splitt shakes his head in a gesture saying no as he listens to the question

Despite shaking his head, he may have surprised viewers with his reply.

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Martin Splitt answered:

“It’s neither. It’s not even a coincidence.

Page speed has been a ranking factor before.

It has nothing to do with Page Experience in this case.

But it coincidentally by making the site better accidentally you got a ranking boost from something that is not Page Experience.”

At this point Martin Splitt gives an enthusiastic thumbs up and gesticulated with his hands in celebration of all the publishers who experienced ranking boosts after improving their core web vitals scores.

Martin Splitt Celebrates those Who Experienced Core Web Vitals Success

Screenshot of Martin Splitt celebrating success

They both chuckled and Loren replied:

“That makes a lot of sense actually. So kudos for getting your page sped up before the Page Experience update goes out.

You may be seeing an improvement in ranking because of those changes that you’ve done but not necessarily because of the Page Experience update.

Okay, that makes perfect sense!”

Page Speed Ranking Boost?

In the past, the page speed ranking factor boost has been considered a somewhat small factor. But apparently to Martin Splitt it may be a ranking factor that could help improve rankings in a more dramatic manner.

Page Speed Ranking Factor

Page Speed has been a ranking factor for desktop users since 2010.  Google announced on July 2018 that it was now a ranking factor for mobile searches.

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According to the official announcement:

“…as of this month (July 2018), page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too.

If you’re a developer working on a site, now is a good time to evaluate your performance using our speed tools.”

The announcement at the time recommended reducing too much JavaScript and excessive image sizes as part of an initiative to increase page speed.

“Are you shipping too much JavaScript? Too many images?

Images and JavaScript are the most significant contributors to the page weight that affect page load time based on data from HTTP Archive and the Chrome User Experience Report – our public dataset for key UX metrics as experienced by Chrome users under real-world conditions.”

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Page Experience Update is Not Active Until June 2021

Any publishers experiencing ranking boosts after fixing their page speed issues may probably look to the page speed ranking factor as a possible reason.

The Page Experience update is not rolling out yet in any form at this time and thus cannot be the reason for any ranking boosts at this time.

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Watch Martin Splitt explain why rankings are already getting a boost after fixing core web vitals



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