Google: Core Web Vitals Shouldn't Be Top Of The List For Most Small & Local Businesses

Feb 21, 2023 - 7:11 am 1 by

Google Core Web Vitals Priorities

Google's John Mueller said on Mastodon that for small and local businesses, "in most cases," core web vitals work should not be at the top of their list. He said this because the page experience ranking factor is not huge and more so, for sites with very few pages, Google doesn't usually have CrUX data for the pages on that site, and in those cases, the data is not used.

John was asked by Brenda Malone, "Since Google Search Console ONLY shows Core Web Vitals and Page Experience metrics for "sufficiently popular sites" that have enough CrUX data, I am wondering. Do you think that small, less than 1K page, mom-and-pop websites should stress out about CWV since Google SAYS they only count CWV if there is CrUX data?"

John replied, "The type ("mom & pop") or page-count (<1k) isn't the deciding factor, CrUX uses other criteria, and sometimes just don't have the full data, in which case it's not used. Should you improve speed/CWV anyway? Maybe. Users do notice it, so if your site is super-slow, users might bail. Should it be your top priority? I don't know - to me it would depend on what you want to achieve with the site (is it a "business-card", or more interactive?) & how bad it currently is."

John then added, I agree that it sometimes feels like folks focus too much on it. I get it - it's something measurable in the SEO world where very little is measurable. Prioritizing is hard, but especially for smaller, local businesses, in most cases this shouldn't be top of the list. (That said, there are things you could do to make it even more of a non-issue, like moving a small business to a shared, managed infrastructure that does these things for you.)"

Previously, Google said this is a ranking factor, more than a tie-breakerpage experience update is a tie breaker in the past. Gary Illyes from Google said the page experience update won't be drastic and might be more like a tie breaker signal than something really big. John Mueller of Google said this won't be a drastic update like other Google updates, he added it will be a slow rollout and not felt too much. Danny Sullivan of Google said it won't result in a massive change when rolled out.

So even more so for small and local businesses that may not have much CrUX data.

Here are screenshots of this from Mastodon:

John Core Web Vitals Mastodon Messages

Forum discussion at Mastodon.


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