Christian Walsh

There’s been a lot of chatter in the world of SEO lately about whether Core Web Vitals and E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness – a bit of a mouthful, we know!) are ranking factors.

Google has made many statements over the years addressing this issue, which you are free to trawl through if you so wish. Or you can hear our view on it, which we think puts the topic to bed quite nicely.

In short, it doesn’t matter.

To understand why, we need to take a broader look at the search landscape and the recent general shift of website optimisation.

What does Google want?

It’s not always clear what search engines are looking for. Any SEO specialist will have endless horror stories of unexpected algorithm updates and volatile keyword rankings. Being at Google’s mercy is part and parcel of what we do, which is not to say we can’t use our learnings to spot patterns and predict future trends.

Over the past few years, Google has emphasised making one thing clear: Your website should focus on the user first. At first glance, that might seem like an all-encompassing statement, which doesn’t help to narrow things down.

But if you change the way you look at it, it gives you all the answers you need.

What do users want?

If Google’s answer is “we should focus on the user”, then the question should be “what does the user want?” Well, as users ourselves we know the things which frustrate us. Slow loading times, difficult-to-understand content, and poor page experience are up there with the things most likely to trigger a bounce. And don’t get me started on shoddy mobile optimisation.

By putting ourselves in the shoes of website visitors, it becomes a lot easier to understand where the focus should be. There are certain features which are more important than others, like page speed, functionality, and ease of navigation. But in truth, every aspect of the user journey and experience should be considered to fully understand what the user wants from your website.

So, how do we improve rankings?

We know user experience is essential, so we should do everything in our power to make it as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Does E-E-A-T fall under the umbrella of a good user experience? Certainly! All users should be provided with expertly written content, backed with experience and authority, which they can trust to be true and accurate, as far as possible.

Should we consider Core Web Vitals as part of a good user experience? Of course! The very purpose of Core Web Vitals is to measure the real-world experience our users are observing. Performance, visual stability, and interactivity play a critical role in ensuring a positive user experience, so this is without a doubt something we should prioritise.

Ready to view SEO in a new light?

For better or worse, the time of stressing over individual ranking factors is over. If you are focused on delivering the best possible experience for the user – and ticking off everything this process encompasses – you’ll be in a good position to enjoy better results.

Sure, it’s still important to be aware of ranking factors and understand their individual specifications. But as long as you’re always putting the user at the forefront of your strategy, you don’t need to go crazy over ensuring you pass each individual ranking factor. After all, there are thought to be over 200 of them!

Let’s talk SEO

We can support you through every stage of optimising your website for search, whether it’s a simple performance review or putting together a whole new strategy. If you need a bit of help with your SEO, feel free to reach out to our friendly team of SEO experts.

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