Google Chrome version 85 has been released and with it comes a new way of highlighting high-quality experiences for web browsers. The Chrome update will apply the label “Fast Page” to high-performing web pages. This is an effort by Google ahead of The Core Web Vitals update to help users identify the sites for the best browsing experience.
The Core Web Vitals update is only due for release in 2021, but Google has given webmasters ample preparation time to ensure their sites are aligned with the new ranking factors.
The new label “Fast Page” appears when the user performs a long-press on a link. The label will only be displayed when the destination is considered fast by both the Core Web Vitals metrics and the real-world data from users. These two factors must both point to the page being fast, if the page meets the requirements of the algorithm metrics, but if there’s little to no user data then the label won’t be displayed. Historical data counts in this regard, too, as a page may end up with the “Fast Page” badge if the URL has been identified as fast to load and browse by previous users. If a page has insufficient data that makes it difficult to measure its load speed and functionality, then historical data from the website’s URLs with the same type of structure are aggregated for evaluation.
The Core Web Vitals measure the user experience of websites and this update is an example of Google slowly implementing these new ranking factors into Google Search. For now, this label is only available to Chrome users in Light Mode, which is a feature on Android devices.
Google has assured developers and webmasters that as it implements new features or changes to align with the Core Web Vitals, the definitions and existing thresholds of this update will remain stable. Google has confirmed that any new changes will come only after notice has been given.
When it comes to Google, change is inevitable. But the search giant is doing it differently this time by providing more insights into the “why” and “how” around the Web Vitals update. Right now, the “Fast Page” label is there to improve the user’s experience, but we know if you jump through all the Google hoops you come out the other side ranking higher in the search results. That’s enough reason to invest and improve your site for superior user experience as soon as possible.
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