Web marketing

How to Know Core Web Vitals Are Affecting Your Search Rankings

Google’s John Mueller answered a question about how to tell if the Page Experience update affected your rankings. Mueller explained what to watch for to know if the Core Web Vitals ranking factors are impacting site rankings and when they are not.

Site lost 20% ranking in page experience update

One person shared that their site lost 20% of their organic search traffic after Google announced that their page experience update was rolling out.

The drop in traffic was felt immediately.

They asked if fixing the top Web Vitals issues would help regain traffic and how long it would take for the ranking signal to affect their traffic.

“Is it safe to suggest that the site will regain traffic after we have…resolved issues with vital elements of the web?

Also, how long will it take, do we have to wait… another huge update?

How to tell if the Page Experience update has affected a site

Google’s John Mueller has made it clear how to tell if ranking changes are due to the page experience update.

Mueller first asked if the change was felt immediately after the update was completed and the person asking the question claimed that it was, that the change was felt immediately.

Muller replied

“I don’t think it would be related.

The reason I don’t think this is related is that we started rolling out this update, I think, in July and it ended at the end of August.

But the deployment was essentially done per page.

This means that if we saw that your website was slow for vital web elements, you would see a gradual change over time…from July to August.

If you see an exact drop on that date, it looks like it’s probably something else.

So I don’t think it would come from core web vitals. “

Update wins and losses are incremental

The questioner asked John Mueller if this incremental effect on rankings was also the same for sites that saw an increase in traffic from the page experience update.

John nodded and said that’s how the positive effects of the update would be felt.

Updates are done automatically

After confirming how updates are experienced, he then explained how updates happen automatically.

“Updates happen automatically.

So it’s something in the search console, you’ll see that the data is still delayed, I think, by 28 days, but it’s like gradually updating.

It’s not that it should wait for a bigger update.

Google Page Experience Updates

John Mueller shared some great insights on how Page Experience updates are feeling. This is useful for diagnosing sudden changes in rankings, as we now know that the ranking effect, both positive and negative, comes on gradually.

This feedback is important because it shows that correlating an observation with ranking changes is tricky.

Many times a publisher or SEO can see that something has happened, followed by a drop in rankings. But sometimes these are just coincidences.

So it is good to keep an open mind and not stop looking for other causes.

It may be pointless to assume that the most obvious reason, the one that stands out prominently, is the explanation for a ranking change.

Mueller also confirmed that the progress of these updates does not need a “bigger update” in order to refresh the ranking factors.


How to Tell if the Page Experience Update Affects Rankings

Watch John Mueller answer the question at 2:40 p.m.