Google fixed a Core Web Vitals metric in order to make it more fair to certain kinds of sites. With about one month to go before Core Web Vitals becomes a ranking factor some may find it strange that issues in the calculations are still being updated.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Ever visit a web page and try to click a button or read the text, only to have the button shift places and the text march around the web page?
That’s called layout shift, when the web page is unstable and shifting around.
The cause of the shifting can be images that don’t have height and width declared in the HTML. When the image downloads it causes the space around it to expand, moving the text and other web page elements around.
A user can’t interact with a web page that is moving around. This metric is meant to measure how much a page moves around while it’s downloading or a visitor is scrolling.
The ideal result is to have a page that downloads and is stable from the moment the site visitor views it.
Flaw in CLS Calculations
Google received feedback that the CLS metric was inadequate for measuring web pages that are open for a long time, penalizing those pages with lower scores.
“It’s important that the metric focuses on user experience through the full page lifetime, as we’ve found that users often have negative experiences after load, while scrolling or navigating through pages.
But we’ve heard concerns about how this impacts long-lived pages— pages which the user generally has open for a long time.”
Change in CLS Will Not Make Scores Worse
Google reviewed three solutions for updating how it scored CLS. Each solution did not make scores worse for websites. So there’s no need to worry that CLS scores will get worse as a result of this change.
Session Windows for Measuring CLS
Google chose a Session Windows approach for measuring CLS
The measurement of the page elements is measured in “session windows.” The session windows correspond to different parts of a web page that a user reaches as they scroll down the web page.
The total scores for each session window is called the cumulative layout shift, the total shifting of the entire page.
According to Google:
“A session window starts with the first layout shift and continues to expand until there is a gap with no layout shifts.
When the next layout shift occurs, a new session window starts. …Similar to the current definition of CLS, the scores of each shift are added up, so that each window’s score is the sum of its individual layout shifts.”
Many CLS Scores Will Change
According to Google, most web pages (55%) will not see a change in their cumulative layout shift scores. About 42% of sites will see a small improvement in scores.
About 3% of web pages that use infinite scroll or have user interface handlers that are slow to react to user interaction will see their scores rise to a “good” rating.
Update Makes CLS Scores More Accurate
It’s a plus for publishers that the new scoring system is fair, particularly to web pages that are open for a long time (long lived) or employ infinite scroll and were being unfairly scored because of that.
Given that Core Web Vitals metrics will become a ranking factor in May 2021 it’s also somewhat of an important change to make at virtually the last minute.
Once upon a time, Microsoft Office ruled the business world. By the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Microsoft’s office suite had brushed aside rivals such as WordPerfect Office and Lotus SmartSuite, and there was no competition on the horizon.
Then in 2006 Google came along with Google Docs & Spreadsheets, a collaborative online word processing and spreadsheet duo that was combined with other business services to form the Google Apps suite, later rebranded as G Suite, and now as Google Workspace. Although Google’s productivity suite didn’t immediately take the business world by storm, over time it has gained both in features and in popularity, boasting 6 million paying customers, according to Google’s most recent public stats in March 2020.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has shifted its emphasis away from its traditional licensed Office software to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), a subscription-based version that’s treated more like a service, with frequent updates and new features. Microsoft 365 is what we’ve focused on in this story.
Nowadays, choosing an office suite isn’t as simple as it once was. We’re here to help.
Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365
Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have much in common. Both are subscription-based, charging businesses per-person fees every month, in varying tiers, depending on the capabilities their customers are looking for. Although Google Workspace is web-based, it has the capability to work offline as well. And while Microsoft 365 is based on installed desktop software, it also provides (less powerful) web-based versions of its applications.
Both suites work well with a range of devices. Because it’s web-based, Google Workspace works in most browsers on any operating system, and Google also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS. Microsoft provides Office client apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, and its web-based apps work across browsers.