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2 in 3 charity websites face negative impact from Google Core Web Vitals

Melanie May | 15 July 2021 | News

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Research from CharityComms by digital media agency Uprise Up on the impact of Google’s new Core Web Vitals on charity websites has shown that many face being negatively impacted.

Out of a sample of charities reviewed, only one third are ready for the introduction of Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor by the end of August.

This means that 66% of sites still have unresolved issues that could affect both user engagement and search rankings in Google Search Results.

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Core Web Vitals are metrics that measure the user experience a page provides. They have been available for analysis for over a year, but are only just becoming a ranking factor for Google Search Results.

The metrics are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). They look at the loading time (LCP), responsiveness (FID) and stability (CLS) of a page.

The research reveals LCP and CLS to be most likely to have a detrimental impact to charity traffic if left unresolved. 60% of pages have an LCP higher than 2.5s, Google’s recommended target, with some pages taking more than twice as long to load. Page speed has always been a crucial factor for mobile traffic and rankings, with fast-loading sites becoming an expected standard by users. According to the study, Core Web Vitals both confirms this and highlights how much charities lag behind the target.

46% of surveyed charities also have a CLS average over 0.25, a value considered poor by Google. 0.1 is the ideal, with the intent being to have pages present stable content and design. Elements that jump around the page can interfere with user engagement and lead to users exiting before taking action, such as donating or signing up to a newsletter. Now this factor will influence a charity’s rankings in the search results themselves, which could also lead to fewer leads.

Further details on the research along with some guidance to help charities take action can be found on the CharityComms site.

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