Google's mobile-first indexing and changes to the page experience are reportedly set to roll out in May. Researchers at BrightEdge, an enterprise SEO platform, have compiled a report to determine how the rollout would look today across the education, finance, B2B, and retail industries.
Google’s “Core Web Vitals” update is intended to improve the way it evaluates the overall user experience of a website. The three new core vitals include loading time, interactivity, and visual stability.
BrightEdge tested specifically for mobile because of the rollout of mobile-first indexing and its importance. The research reveals which industries may see a boost in rankings and which will fall behind, and explores the possible reasons why.
Researchers reviewed the top sites across four verticals and selected the page rankings to analyze for the top 500 keywords.
The study results reflected the Core Web Vitals in the search engine results pages.
How would core web vitals look if Google rolled out the changes today? Finance topped the list, followed by B2B, education, and then retail. None of the top URLs for retailers would receive a boost.
In the retail sector, for example, BrightEdge tested 689 unique retail URLs ranked for the top retail queries. URLs were ranked higher due to multiple product listings from the same domains.
More than half of the URLs evaluated met the criteria on desktop.
Page attributions such as hero images on products and pop-ups for sales were driven mostly by "contentful paint" and "layout shifts." Of the URLs tested, review URLs from pages like TechRadar and Consumer Reports seem best positioned for the update, according to the data.
BrightEdge summarized its findings from the research in the report by explaining that the mobile experience is critical for all categories, image compression seems to be a leading challenge for leading brands, pages that perform well for CWV tend to be informational in nature, and retail could see significant disruption if second-tier retailers receive a boost.
Addressing Core Web Vitals also means reducing the time it takes for the main content to download on the page, which should reduce bounce rates. It can improve conversions by as much as 15%, according to the data.
Improving the cumulative layout shift -- a Google metric that measures a user experience event -- and improving the first input delay to help the website respond more quickly to the actions that visitors take can also boost results.
The more rapidly the site responds to a visitor's action, the better the user experience will be.