Google’s John Mueller has stated that all the three core web vital benchmarks should be met to qualify for the ranking signal boost, which is expected to be out in May 2021. This topic was in the air for quite some time now and popped up right at the start of the latest Google search central SEO office-hours on January 29.

A query gets surfaced regarding how much it matters if one of the Core Web Vitals doesn’t satisfy Google’s requirements when the other two met.

Another thing here is, does it really matters if the testing tools of Google show one of the web vitals in yellow instead of green?- This was easily understandable via Muller’s response that all these things would be of the utmost importance when the Core Web Vitals update gets launched this May.

What are Core web vitals?

Core Web Vitals can be termed as a set of specific factors that are essential in a webpage’s overall user experience. Its metrics comprises of,

core web vitals

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): It measures the speed at which a web page’s prime content gets loaded. Normally, this should take place within 2.5 seconds of touchdown on a page.


  • First Input Delay (FID): FID measures the speed at which the users can interact with a page once they land on it. The proposed time for this to occur is within 100 milliseconds.

First Input delay

  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): The third metric is CLS. It is responsible for measuring how frequently users experience unexpected layout shifts. Normally, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.


Google generally offers 6 different approaches to measuring the Core web vitals. As we have learned from Mueller, all minimum necessities need to be met to benefit from the upcoming algorithm update.

Also, Read – Facebook ad Guidelines: All You Need To Know

What John Mueller had to say on Core Web Vitals

As mentioned above, it takes all three metrics to test your site and see how well it meets the Core Web Vitals benchmark. Here’s what Mueller says,

“My understanding is we see if it is in the green, and then that counts as it is OK or not. So if it’s in yellow then that wouldn’t be in the green, but I don’t know what the final approach there will be.

There are a number of factors that come together, and I think the general idea is if we can recognize that a page matches all of these criteria. Only then we would like to use that appropriately in search ranking.

I don’t know what the approach would be where there are some things that are OK and some things that are not perfectly OK, like how that would balance out.”

Muller has been tip-toes around the topic as he has playing smartly by not revealing anything that has not been communicated via the official channel of Google.

When been asked if there would be any other information available prior to the algorithm update in May, Muller was quick on saying, “I suspect so.”

He once again touches on the notion, being tossed around, that Google would be introducing a badge in search results for pages that pass through Google’s core web vitals. If that were to roll out, which is still not a 100% sure thing, then it would need to add up to the page that meets or exceeds all three metrics. He adds,

“The general guideline is we would also like to use this criterion to show a badge in search results, which I think there have been some experiments happening around that.

And for that, we really need to know that all of the factors are compliant. So if it is not on HTTPS then essentially, even if the rest is OK then that would not be enough.”

Time to wrap up: Google’s new policy around the core web vitals for ranking is expected to roll out in May, but the buzz is already booming. It would be interesting to see how SEO people respond to this change when everything would be in full-flow in May 2021.

Akansha Pandey

She loves to write about what she has learned in all these years in the industry. She thinks that knowledge should be shared with everyone.

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