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WordPress vs Wix: Core Web Vitals Winner via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google engineer Rick Viscomi tweeted that the Core Web Vitals Technology Report was updated to include July 2021 data from CrUX and HTTPArchive. The data showed how much WordPress and Wix continue to improve in all three Core Web Vitals metrics, FID, LCP and CLS.

There can only be one winner this month.

CrUX Data

CrUX stands for the Chrome User Experience report. It is a report of actual user experience and is where the core web vitals (CWV) information comes from.

The data is collected from Chrome browsers that have opted into contributing their information.

This information is what is called Field Data.

First Input Delay (FID) WordPress versus Wix

First Input Delay (FID) is a measurement of how long it takes for a website to become interactive in terms of buttons, links, dropdowns and other interactive elements.

WordPress is the clear winner over the Wix publishing platform in terms of the First Input Delay metric.

WordPress FID performance improved by six percentage points between May and July 2021, going from 89.4% in May receiving a good FID score to a whopping 95.71% of publishers experiencing a good FID score by July.

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That’s a significant performance improvement for WordPress and shows that the WordPress development team is making progress on improving the page experience for users visiting sites published on WordPress.

Wix on the other hand started out as the leader in May, with 93.79% of publishers enjoying a good FID score. But WordPress overtook Wix in July as Wix only improved the FID score by less than one percentage point.

Wix went from 93.79% in May to a marginally better 94.6% in July, losing the crown of FID champ to WordPress.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a measurement of how long the main content takes to load and become ready for a user to interact with it.

WordPress showed a minimal improvement in the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metric, rising by less than a percentage point, from 27.51% in May to 28.11% in July.

Wix on the other hand improved by a more impressive 4%, going from 29.16% in May to 33.43% in July.

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That means that, as measured by CrUX, 33.43% of Wix publishers offered a fast LCP page experience versus 28.11% on WordPress.

Wix publishers have a five percentage point lead over WordPress publishers.

While Wix gets the nod for LCP scores, WordPress is virtually neck and neck with Wix.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): WordPress vs Wix

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a measurement of how much page elements shift around while a page is downloading.

A page where a visitor clicks a button and the button jumps around, causing the visitor to click an ad and leave the website is an example of a page that offers a poor Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) score.

This is an important metric because pages with elements that jump around can quickly frustrate users and cause them to bounce back to the search results.

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WordPress CLS Scores

The WordPress CLS scores actually deteriorated between May and July 2021, sinking from 60.52% in May to 59.94% in July.

WordPress CLS performance had a less than 1% negative degradation.

Screenshot of WordPress CLS Scores

WordPress CLS Scores

WordPress CLS Scores

Wix CLS Performance Scores

Wix actually improved their scores by over 7%.

Perhaps even more stunning, while 59.94% of WordPress publishers have a passing CLS score in July, a whopping 80.49% of Wix publishers enjoyed a good CLS score.

Screenshot of Wix CLS Scores

Wix Cumulative Layout Shift Scores

Wix Cumulative Layout Shift Scores

With an over 20 percentage point lead, Wix is the winner in the contest between Wix and WordPress over which offers the best CLS scores.

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What Causes Cumulative Layout Shift?

Things like advertisements, images, embedded videos and tweets can cause CLS.

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It’s possible that the way publishers use WordPress is responsible for the significantly poorer CLS performance compared to the Wix platform.

Overall CWV Performance: WordPress Versus Wix

WordPress CWV Performance Improvement

The report shows that WordPress is steadily improving its CWV performance but at a modest pace of only 1% per month.

WordPress improved by only 2% between May and July 2021.

The following are the percentages of websites published with WordPress that received good scores.

WordPress CWV Performance

  • May 2021 17.1%
  • June 2021 18.9%
  • July 2021 19.1%

Screenshot of WordPress CWV Scores

WordPress Core Web Vitals Scores

WordPress Core Web Vitals Scores

Wix CWV Performance Improvement

Wix showed impressive improvement between May and July 2021, achieving a six percentage point improvement between May and July 2021.

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The following are the Wix Performance Metrics:

  • May 2021 22.6%
  • June 2021 28.3%
  • July 2021 28.5%

Screenshot of Wix Core Web Vitals Scores

Wix Core Web Vitals Scores

Wix Core Web Vitals Scores

For the overall Core Web Vitals scoring, Wix leads WordPress by 9 percentage points.

WordPress’ poor CLS performance (relative to Wix’s significantly higher scores) dragged down the overall CWV score for WordPress.

Facts are Clear: Wix Has Higher CWV Scores

In the overall Core Web Vitals score, Wix leads WordPress by 9 percentage points.

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Facts are facts: More publishers on the Wix platform achieve overall good Core Web Vitals scores than publishers using WordPress.

For the month of July 2021, 19.1% of WordPress publishers achieved good CWV scores while 28.5% of Wix publishers enjoyed good CWV scores.

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That’s a nearly ten percentage point better performance of Wix over WordPress.

The Wix approach to managing their web technology may have an advantage over WordPress because Wix is able to control and tune each web page element so that the website can perform to their standards.

WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS) with thousands of third party developers who contribute themes and plugins that may negatively affect the page experience performance.

Wix is Improving at a Fast Pace

The Wix approach to proprietary closed system shows a faster rate of improvement than WordPress. From May to July, the Wix Core Web Vitals scores jumped by six percentage points, going from 22.6% to 28.5%.

WordPress experienced an improvement but that improvement was by a modest two percentage points, crawling from 17.1% in May to a modestly better 19.1% improvement in July.

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Again it must be said that because WordPress is an open source system, individual publishers can create websites with faster performance scores than Wix. Publishers on the Wix platform don’t have the freedom to improve their performance scores.

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But in the Wix publishing ecosystem, having little control over web performance is feature and not a bug for publishers who want to focus on business and not on babysitting the underlying technology.

Wix Wins… But Not By Much

Clearly the faster pace of improvement in CWV scores shows that the Wix approach has advantages for certain publishers.

But WordPress is not that far behind.

The contest for Core Web Vitals excellence continues.

Citation

Announcement Tweet by Rick Viscomi

Searchenginejournal.com

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

Searchenginejournal.com

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