Google Incorporates Core Web Vitals into Ranking Systems

Google recently made updates to its Page Experience Documentation, clarifying that Core Web Vitals (CWV) are indeed utilized by their ranking systems. However, the search giant remains cautious in explicitly labeling CWV as ranking factors. This intriguing shift in language raises questions about how Google defines and communicates its ranking algorithms.


The Elusive Terminology of Ranking Factors


Interestingly, Google employees often avoid using the term “ranking factor” when discussing the intricacies of search algorithms. A thorough search of former Google engineer Matt Cutts’ blog and YouTube videos reveals a notable absence of the phrase. Similarly, even though John Mueller acknowledged three years ago on Reddit that Core Web Vitals were indeed ranking factors, Google’s Page Experience In Search Results explainer does not explicitly state it.


The SearchLiaison Controversy


In February 2024, Google’s SearchLiaison caused a stir when he tweeted that Google’s documentation did not explicitly recognize Core Web Vitals as ranking factors or signals. This statement added to the confusion surrounding the role of CWV in Google’s ranking algorithms.


The Updated Documentation


The latest revision of Google’s Page Experience Documentation does not employ the terms “ranking factor” or “ranking signal” in relation to Core Web Vitals. However, it does provide explicit acknowledgement that CWV plays a role in Google’s ranking systems. This revision offers a slightly less ambiguous perspective than the prior statement, which merely recommended high CWV scores for achieving “success with Search.”


Google’s recent update to its Page Experience Documentation sheds light on the utilization of Core Web Vitals in their ranking systems. While Google refrains from explicitly labeling CWV as ranking factors, the acknowledgement of their involvement raises important considerations for website owners and SEO professionals. Understanding the impact of Core Web Vitals on search rankings becomes crucial for optimizing website performance and user experience, ultimately aiming for improved visibility and organic traffic.