GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 51 - November 2021

for iGaming Affiliates A Core Web Vitals Guide Like it or not, Google’s Core Web Vitals are a crucial factor in the ranking of your site. Tom Reaney from Blueclaw Media explains why it’s important for iGaming affiliate webmasters to adhere to the new rules and what tools to use to identify recurring issues and achieve higher rankings. By Tom Reaney , Blueclaw Media Ltd. B ack in May 2020, Google announced its latest rank- ing factor, Core Web Vitals. Since then, Core Web Vitals have proven to be a fundamental factor in how Google ranks a site. Previously, Google would rank sites on a primarily semantic basis, with the algorithm trying to match the best quality con- tent relating to the searcher’s intent. With the introduction of Core Web Vitals, Google shifted the focus more towards user experience. The Core Web Vitals have been designed to pro- vide a measure for three different aspects of user experience: 1. Page loading 2. Ease of interaction 3. Visual stability Essentially, this shift from Google means that even sites whose content is highly optimized towards the searcher’s intent should still pay strong attention to Core Web Vitals as even with high level content, a page can still receive low Core Web Vitals scores. The three metrics designed by Google for the Core Web Vitals are as follows: 1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) The first of the Core Web Vitals is Largest Contentful Paint or an LCP rating. LCP has been designed as a way to mea- sure the page loading aspect of user experience. In essence, LCP tests the render times of the most substantial blocks of content visible to visitors. Ultimately, page loading is one of the most critical aspects for sites to show concern to, as faster loading times are proven to have a strong correlation with longer session times and a higher frequency of further interactions on the site. What is meant by the most substantial blocks of content are both media and text, which Google has classified as the most meaningful aspects of a page to a user. Thus, LCP is beyond just how quickly the page loads; it is instead just how quickly a user can access the central bodies of content that is most applicable to them. LCP scores are assigned at page level, with Google setting the expected standard for an individual page’s content to load within 2.5 seconds. Therefore, if the loading time for a page’s content body takes longer to appear than 2.5 seconds, the page will receive a lower LCP score to reflect this. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 24