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Core Web Vital’s Ranking Factor is more than a tie

Core Web Vital's Ranking Factor is more than a tie

Google’s John Mueller answered a question on Reddit that expressed skepticism about Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor. Mueller reaffirmed the importance of CWV as a ranking factor, noting that it is far more than just a draw.

Ranking factors

Back in the early 2000s, Google used keyword ranking factors to understand what a web page was all about. Anchor text, number of links, keywords in headings and titles helped all web pages rank at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

Websites could acquire thousands of reciprocal links and do on-page SEO and rank at the top.

But that was before natural language processing, advanced machine learning and AI technologies put more emphasis on relevancy signals.

Google has lowered expectations for CWV ranking factor

It is not unexpected that members of the search community would express skepticism about the CWV ranking factor.

Google has even downplayed how powerful CWV is as a ranking factor.

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John Mueller himself said this about Core Web Vitals:

“… relevance is still far more important.

So just because your site is faster in terms of Core Web Vitals than some competitors, does not necessarily mean that … you jump to position number one in the search results. ”

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

Frequently asked questions:

Page experience is just one of many signals used to rank pages.

Keep in mind that the intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a page with a subpar page experience can still rank high if it has good, relevant content. ”

Skepticism of the Core Web Vitals Ranking Factor

It is therefore not surprising that today there are some who express skepticism about the CWV’s power to influence search rankings.

This is what was published on Reddit:

“Are there others who do not buy Core Web Vitals?
I just have a hard time believing that this will actually be a bigger part of the algo ranking. Has anyone seen dramatic gains or declines based on that so far? ”

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Another observed:

“I think Google admitted that it’s pretty much just a draw.

If two pieces of content are equally high quality and relevant to the search term, and all the other ranking factors are the same, but a site has better core web ratings, it will rank higher.

I imagine it’s quite rare for two articles to be the same on all other factors, so I think that’s why we do not see much influence on it. ”

Given Google’s recent history of lowering expectations to achieve top rankings with high core vitality on the web, it’s not unreasonable to think that the CWV rank factor is a smaller and lighter rank signal.

CWV ranking factor is more than a draw

Google’s John Mueller replied that it confirmed that key web vitality should not be dismissed as a ranking factor.

He insisted that it could be felt more strongly in some places than others.

Mueller wrote:

“It’s a ranking factor, and it’s more than a tie-breaker, but it does not replace relevance either.

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

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

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

It takes experience to find the things that make sense to work with. ”

CWV has value in addition to being a ranking signal

Mueller then stated that CWV has a value that extends beyond a ranking signal, and rightly pointed out that speed-related user experiences can affect how much a site earns.

He pointed out the self-destructive nature of promoting a site to the top of the SERPs only to make the earnings never reach their potentials due to low page speed experiences.

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That’s a good point!

Mueller wrote:

The other thing to keep in mind with key web vital is that it is more than a random ranking factor, it is also something that affects the usability of your site after it is placed (when people actually visit).

If you get more traffic (from other SEO efforts) and your conversion rate is low, this traffic will not 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 to recognize and quantify common user nuisances. ”

Core Web Vitals are important

Mueller expressed that Core Web Vitals is stronger and more important than a tie-breaker. He also pointed out how fast and page experience is important to monetize a site to its full potential.

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

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Citation

Read the Reddit discussion
Are there others who do not buy Core Web Vitals?

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