Google’s Core Web Vitals will soon be used as a ranking signal in search, but only 12% of mobile pages would pass an assessment for the benchmarks, according to a new study from Screaming Frog.
The search marketing company looked at 20,000 URLs and 2,500 keywords as part of its research and found that the vast majority of content still comes up short for the benchmark test within PageSpeed Insights.
Google said that it would start using Core Web Vitals as a ranking signal back in May.
The vitals are a set of metrics called Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay and Cumulative Layout Shift, which are linked to loading, interactivity and visual stability respectively.
Google has advised webmasters to optimise pages for these metrics as they help sites “evolve” to the rising expectations of users across the web and on mobile devices.
However, just 13% of desktop search results and 12% of mobile search results currently get a pass mark.
There is some good news though as 89% of mobile URLs have already achieved a First Input Delay score of 100 milliseconds of less.
First Input Delay is a measure of how quickly users can interact with a page after navigating to it.
The study found that sites are generally meeting individual benchmarks but still need to brush up on optimisation and technical SEO to hit the target across the board.
Screaming Frog also said that URLs with a higher ranking are more likely to pass the Core Web Vitals assessment.
It noted that load speed is already a ranking factor and that it might appear that faster sites have a better chance of occupying the top spots in SERPs.
It concluded: “However, Google continually comments that speed is a minor factor. Instead, I suspect sites ranking in the first 1-4 positions tend to be better optimised overall. With targeted, rich, and user-friendly content.”