Upcoming Google Search ranking update (Core Web Vitals are becoming ranking signals); how does it affect sites powered by XenForo

Andro

Well-known member
Google on November 10 announced Core Web Vitals will become ranking signals in May 2021 in an update which will also combine existing UX-related signals. I wonder how does it impact to sites powered by XenForo.

A few things which instantly came to my mind reading the announcement:

1. XenForo has no AMP pages support yet, though there is a long suggestion thread for it since when AMP was originally launched (Feel free to support the suggestion).
2. XenForo community which is running a very clean installation (without any third-party add-ons or styles) doesn't perform great (90-100) on Google PageSpeed Insights tool (especially on mobile where it scored just 54). So we can't expect other XenForo powered sites with add-ons and styles perform well, they may perform worse with additional elements and ads.

Google suggests to have an AMP version of your site as they consider it as the most simple and economical way. But at the same time they have also clarified, with the upcoming update if your site passes all the ranking factors, irrespective of having AMP support or not you can rank even on the Top stories (Currently reserved for AMP pages only when it comes to mobile Top stories).

We would like to know whether XenForo has some plans on how to tackle this situation without requiring much changes/efforts from the forum webmasters.



Some important highlights from the Google blog post:

Today we’re announcing that the page experience signals in ranking will roll out in May 2021. The new page experience signals combine Core Web Vitals with our existing search signals including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
Visual indicators on the results are another way to do the same, and we are working on one that identifies pages that have met all of the page experience criteria. We plan to test this soon and if the testing is successful, it will launch in May 2021 and we’ll share more details on the progress of this in the coming months.
AMP is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways for publishers looking to achieve great page experience outcomes. Based on the analysis that the AMP team has done, the majority of the AMP pages achieve great page experiences. If you’re an AMP publisher, check out the recently launched AMP Page Experience Guide, a diagnostic tool that provides developers with actionable advice.
The change for non-AMP content to become eligible to appear in the mobile Top Stories feature in Search will also roll out in May 2021. Any page that meets the Google News content policies will be eligible and we will prioritize pages with great page experience, whether implemented using AMP or any other web technology, as we rank the results.

uY0UP1E.jpg
 

arn

Well-known member
Google on November 10 announced Core Web Vitals will become ranking signals in May 2021 in an update which will also combine existing UX-related signals. I wonder how does it impact to sites powered by XenForo.

A few things which instantly came to my mind reading the announcement:

1. XenForo has no AMP pages support yet, though there is a long suggestion thread for it since when AMP was originally launched (Feel free to support the suggestion).
2. XenForo community which is running a very clean installation (without any third-party add-ons or styles) doesn't perform great (90-100) on Google PageSpeed Insights tool (especially on mobile where it scored just 54). So we can't expect other XenForo powered sites with add-ons and styles perform well, they may perform worse with additional elements and ads.

Google suggests to have an AMP version of your site as they consider it as the most simple and economical way. But at the same time they have also clarified, with the upcoming update if your site passes all the ranking factors, irrespective of having AMP support or not you can rank even on the Top stories (Currently reserved for AMP pages only when it comes to mobile Top stories).

We would like to know whether XenForo has some plans on how to tackle this situation without requiring much changes/efforts from the forum webmasters.



Some important highlights from the Google blog post:






uY0UP1E.jpg

So just to clarify. The Core Web Vitals are distinct from the page speed score. You can have a good Core Web Vitals and a bad Pagespeed Insights score.

The other thing that's hard to gauge is Core Web Vitals is a "real world" measurement. So while you might have a good experience, slower users might not. But you can optimize it. I know @eva2000 has done really well. Mine are not too bad either. Feels like "good enough" at the moment.

This is for our Xenforo domain in webmaster tools:

Screen Shot 2020-11-12 at 2.55.18 PM.png
 

eva2000

Well-known member
The other thing that's hard to gauge is Core Web Vitals is a "real world" measurement. So while you might have a good experience, slower users might not. But you can optimize it. I know @eva2000 has done really well.

Yup can definitely optimize, just updated my speed journey thread at https://community.centminmod.com/th...mod-com-journey-for-speed.3/page-3#post-87049 :)

Closest to real world will be Google Webmaster Tool's Core Web Vital Metrics which is based on Google Chrome User Experience data (CRuX) which your screenshot is from :)

crux-cmmforum-oct2020-01.png
google-webmastertools-core-web-vitals-01.png

I also track my numbers within Google Data Studio custom created dashboards :)

google-datastudio-crux-report-cmm-forum-oct-01.png
 

mazzly

Well-known member
For desktop/mobile traffic the @eva2000 guides work very well IMO, although it maybe is a bit too much fiddling for a person that is not well-versed with running a server and optimizing various PWA things like caching etc.. :)

As for further optimizing mobile, AMP pages would really be useful.
 

JoyFreak

Well-known member
For desktop/mobile traffic the @eva2000 guides work very well IMO, although it maybe is a bit too much fiddling for a person that is not well-versed with running a server and optimizing various PWA things like caching etc.. :)

As for further optimizing mobile, AMP pages would really be useful.
Where are these guides? I'd like to take a look/read. Thanks!
 

djbaxter

Well-known member
We all did. Google burst upon the scene with a new way of searching that was superior to everything else out there and we all enthusiastically adopted it.

Google then made a ton of money and developed or bought up other technologies. They also constructed the biggest network of computers and datacenters on the net which allowed them to branch out into a huge variety of other services.

They now basically have a near monopoly and that has people worried and upset, especially Europe and to a lesser extent the US.

But in essence, they offered us superior products (and still do) and we gobbled them up enthusiastically and gave them that near monopoly along with truckloads of money.

As annoying as Google can sometimes be, I find it difficult not to admire what they've accomplished, along with Microsoft and Apple.
 

eva2000

Well-known member
For desktop/mobile traffic the @eva2000 guides work very well IMO, although it maybe is a bit too much fiddling for a person that is not well-versed with running a server and optimizing various PWA things like caching etc.. :)

As for further optimizing mobile, AMP pages would really be useful.

Don't have any specific guides other than how to interpret and use page speed tools. I wrote a new one for my Centmin Mod forum members at https://community.centminmod.com/th...ghts-and-google-core-web-vital-metrics.20735/
 

Pawn Studios

Active member
If someone developed a better search engine, we would all start using it.
Even if someone does make a better search engine, they have enough resources to catch up very quickly.
DuckDuckGo had instant answers first, but Google quickly followed and caught up if not surpassed.


1. XenForo has no AMP pages support yet

AMP looks a bit challenging from a privacy stand point / handling of data, I took a peek at the source code and there's a couple external hosts being contacted throughout the code. Besides, it's a web framework. XF can optimize its code for both desktop / mobile at the same time by sticking with their existing code base instead of creating an entirely separate front end code base for mobile.
 
Last edited:

JoyFreak

Well-known member
View attachment 240822

31,000+ poor URLs on Mobile, O poor URLs on desktop.
Yeah, I've just checked mine and my validation failed for the mobile. 659 URLs affected. Although, I'm not quite sure what to improve, even with the PageSpeeds results, most of it is stuff in the core/default XF code. It's asking me to rearrange the structure of the core code.
 

rdn

Well-known member
Thanks to @mazzly for the amzing AMP XF2 addon.

Too early to tell as I have the addon enabled less than a week.
On and off last few days as it's still on Beta stage but it seems to work really great :)

3,500+ was served from AMP yesterday.

1606831942101.png
 
Last edited:

hanyuwomr

Member
Cảm ơn [USER = 201946] @mazzly [/ USER] vì tiện ích bổ trợ AMP XF2 thích thú.

Quá sớm để nói vì tôi đã bật addon chưa đầy một tuần.
Bật và tắt vài ngày qua vì nó vẫn đang ở giai đoạn Beta nhưng nó có vẻ hoạt động rất tốt :)

3.500+ đã được phân phối từ AMP ngày hôm qua.

View attachment 241003
Hi @rdn How can I use addon AMP .Please help me .
 
Top