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Core Web Vitals scores may be affected by slow internet speed

Core Web Vitals scores may be affected by slow internet speed

Core Web Vitals are going to become a search engine ranking factor from May 1, 2021. Although it is a bit more nuanced, the core web vital scores depend on the loading speed of your website.

This pops up an important question: will there be a consideration for websites that get a large percentage of visitors from countries with slower internet speeds?

In a recent episode of Google Office Hours Hangout, Google’s John Mueller was asked the same question. 

He responded:

“I don’t know what the final setup there will be.

It is something where we have country information in Chrome User Experience Report data. So it is something where we’d be able to figure out where users are primarily coming from.

But the general idea is still kind of that users should be able to have a good experience.

And if the bulk of your users sees a slow experience, regardless of why, then essentially that’s what will apply there.

So that’s at least from what I know, that’s kind of the general standpoint there.

It’s like if 90% of your users are coming from locations that are slow and essentially 90% of your users have this …sub-optimal experience with your site, then that’s kind of what will be taken into account.”

This presents a unique problem for websites and website owners whose traffic comes mostly from countries with predominantly slower internet speed. 

Because Core Web Vitals scores are measured from actual users, if a user has a slow internet connection, he is more likely to have a poor user experience on your website. And if the majority of website visitors have the same experience, it may affect your website’s Core Web Vitals scores.

One idea is to block countries with slow internet speeds in an attempt to improve Core Web Vitals scores and protect your search engine rankings.

However, that is not really recommended. Martin Splitt answered this question back in January 2021. He said:

“No. That’s thinking that is laser focused on the Core Web Vitals and that’s really, really risky.”

A, Because people from these countries, if they want to access your website, they will through a proxy or what’s called a “VPN” which really is mostly a proxy for most cases.

And then the speed is even slower, so not helping.”

Conclusion

As of now, there are no allowances for websites whose visitors come from countries with slow internet speeds.

However, this does not mean you should block those countries.

At the end of the day, Core Web Vitals is only one small search ranking factor. Your focus should be on providing the best overall user experience to your website visitors.

If you do everything else right, your website will likely see improvement in search rankings.

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Alfie Lewis

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