Google Now Says Core Web Vitals Used In Ranking Systems

28 Mar, 2024 Google Features

Google has never come out to say that Core Web Vitals (CWV) is a ranking factor; however, there has always existed some speculation that they are. In a recent update on its page experience documentation, Google acknowledged that CWV is used in its ranking systems but falls short of citing them as ranking factors.

Google is not known to be very open about its ranking factors, which could be the reason behind not using the phrase ranking factor in the documentation update.

Ranking factor is a term largely used by SEO to describe what makes a page rank in the SERPs, but you will rarely see Google or its employees use it in their content. For instance, you cannot find a single instance where Matt Cutts, a former Google engineer, used it in his posts or YouTube videos.

What the Googlers Say

John Mueller is the only Googler who has ever cited CWV as a ranking factor, but it was on a Reddit thread. Mueller is a Google Search Advocate, connecting Google’s search engineers with web developers and optimizers. Given his position and role, you could say what he says has a lot of credibility. However, it is also important to note that the Google search results explainer does not cite them as such.

In a tweet that caused quite a stir in February 2024, Google’s Search Liaison said that CWVs are not listed as a ranking factor or a signal. Instead of focusing on CWV, which is one part of a great page experience, the focus should be on a combination of things that can help improve page experiences and, ultimately, ranking. SearchLiaison’s explanation is consistent with the Page Experience In Search Results explainer document and has remained so since its publication in 2022.

The Update Is Less Ambiguous

The recent update stands out as the closest Google has come to saying that CWV is a ranking factor by removing the ambiguity in the document. The older version of the documentation explains that there are many aspects to page experience, but not all aspects inform ranking.

It also notes that they do align a site with success. This statement is ambiguous by all accounts and doesn’t specify or mention any aspect. In the updated statement, however, the documentation mentions Core Web Vitals as being used in the ranking systems.

While it may not mean the same as saying it’s a ranking factor, the new statement is way less ambiguous. The documentation also advises site owners to work on their site’s core web vitals for success with search but avoids the phrase ranking factor.

Tools Come Short

According to the updated documentation, getting good CWV results from search consoles or third-party tools does not guarantee ranking because it takes more than CWV to achieve a great page experience.

The best use of such tools would be to help you improve your site for your users, which should always be the main goal rather than doing it for SEO. This is the area where we, Blushark Digital, shine. Our team of SEO experts can help with everything you need to give your users the best experiences on your page. Contact us to begin the fruits of your hard work in digital campaigns.