Walmart.com, Target.com, and Tripadvisor.com -- as well as social sites such as Facebook.com, Instagram.com and Pinterest.com -- are among the major brands that did not meet all three of Google’s minimum thresholds for good website performance and usability as of October, according to recent analysis.
Research from Searchmetrics, a global provider of search data, software and consulting services, estimate that 50% of the top 100 most visible websites on Google fail to deliver a “good” page experience on desktop and 44% of the top 100 websites fail on mobile.
Fashion and travel are the worst-performing verticals. The metrics are defined by the search engine’s Core Web Vitals update that rolled out in August 2021.
Google’s Core Web Vitals benchmarks help website owners assess web user experiences. It provides insight into the speed in which the content on a page loads, interactivity such as the time taken to respond to a visitor’s first interaction, such as a click on a button or a link, and the visual stability of the layout or content on the page.
In the update for Core Web Vitals, which have an influence on rankings in Google Search, the signals are combined with other signals that Google uses to measure the quality of the page experience.
Updated monthly, the data analyzes the Core Web Vitals performance of the top 100 most visible domains on Google.com in the U.S. with monthly benchmarks for eight key industry segments such as B2B, Dictionary and Reference, Electronics, Fashion, Finance, Healthcare, Media and News, and Travel.
This research comes from the newly launched Core Web Vitals Monitor section on The Searchmetrics website.
The percentage of the top-performing domains that satisfy Google’s requirements continues to improve.
In January 2020, only 22% of the desktop top 100 and 28% of the mobile top 100 passed the Core Web Vitals tests. By October 2021, this increased to 50% on desktop and 56% on mobile.
Google’s minimum requirement for the largest image or text block to become visible when the page first starts loading is 2.5 seconds.
The average time taken among the top 100 websites analyzed in October was 2.43 seconds on desktop and 2.48 on mobile, according to Searchmertics. Some 36% of the top 100 websites on desktop and 33% of mobile still fail to meet this minimum requirement.
Nearly one-quarter, or 24%, of the top 100 websites on both desktop and mobile failed to pass the minimum requirement for the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) -- the extent to which elements on a page jump around while loading. A “good” score, per Google, is below 0.1 and the average score was just a little over this (0.11 on both desktop and mobile).
Most websites tested by Searchmetrics were found to pass the test for FID (which measures interactivity). However, the company notes that due to difficulties in gathering accurate data, experts could not collect meaningful analysis for this metric.
The data suggests that ecommerce sites in categories such as fashion and travel performed the worst. For example, only 24% of the top 100 most visible fashion and apparel websites pass Core Web Vitals on desktop, and just 16% on mobile. For the top 100 in travel, only 20% pass Core Web Vitals on desktop and 21% on mobile.
B2B and Healthcare sites performed the best, with 60% and 59% of top domains in these sectors passing all 3 Core Web Vitals tests on desktop respectively (51% of the top B2B sites and 63% of the top Healthcare sites pass on mobile.
The average LCP for the top travel sites was 3.37 on desktop and 3.66 on mobile outside of Google’s minimum requirements for a good experience of 2.5 seconds. In fashion, the top 100 sites the average LCP for on desktop was 2.8 seconds and 3.31 on mobile.