Google’s Page Experience update is coming this summer, with Core Web Vitals as key components. Andrew Wilder of NerdPress and Eric Hochberger, CEO of Mediavine, join Mediavine’s Director of Marketing Jenny Guy in a conversation breaking down Core Web Vitals and what this update means for publishers.
Learn about the many things publishers can do right now to get ready for the algorithm shift!
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
- NerdPress — WordPress technical support
- Core Web Vitals Checklist — Google Page Experience checklist for bloggers
- The Hollywood Gossip Passes Core Web Vitals — Learn how they passed and how you can too!
- Live Links Document — Contains all the links related to the Live.
[MUSIC PLAYING] JENNY GUY: Hey, everybody. Hello, all. Welcome. Grab a beverage. Take a seat. Or switch things up if you’ve been sitting all day and stand up for a stretch. As Tabitha Brown says, that’s your business. It is Thursday, April 15, which means it’s time for another episode of Teal Talk. I’m Jenny Guy, your host for this show all about the business of content creation. Thank you so much for joining us. How is everybody doing today? Are you like me? Are you fighting daily battles with pollen? Anyone else looking outside the window and seeing the yellow dust blanketing all of the things and just deciding it’s an inside day, cut your losses?
That is me. I don’t know what to tell you other than that it’s spring and we are all in misery. So that’s happening there. So let’s switch from a least favorite subject being seasonal allergies to a most favorite subject being amazing memes. At Mediavine, GIFs are our love language. And our custom emoji collection in Slack is quite impressive.
But I hold a special place in my heart for a good meme. And every year around now, I don’t know if anyone out there is like me and a fan of this, but every year around now, the greatest meme of all time starts surfacing. It reaches a fever pitch right around May 1. Do you know the one I’m talking about? I am paging NSYNC fans. Sing it with me. It’s going to be May. I crack up every time. It doesn’t matter what time– it’s always right on time for me.
I don’t know how you guys feel about that meme. I love it. If anyone out there wants to express their wrong opinion in the comments and share a meme that they think is better, please feel free. But this is the best meme for me. I’m kidding. We would love to have your meme. Say hi. Share a favorite meme. Please drop it in the comments. We can all use a great meme.
OK. But I promise that this conversation has relevance to today’s show topic. It is not just because I personally adore the Justin Timberlake meme. No what else is going to be May? Like it or not, Google’s algorithm shift to page experience and the dreaded Core Web Vitals is headed our way next month. It’s May. That’s right. It is dominating the Facebook threads and bloggers’ nightmares.
So of course, we’re here to break it down for you and talk through it with my experts, Mediavine CEO, SEO expert, and long time Google fanboy, Eric Hochberger is here to discuss how Mediavine is solving for ad related CLS issues for our publishers. Welcome, Eric.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Thank you. I did not know I was a Google fanboy until this moment, but I am. We know it.
JENNY GUY: We know you are.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Ignore my Apple phone. It’s nothing.
JENNY GUY: I mean you do tend to say things like, I did SEO in high school. You’re–
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Oh, that’s because I’m a Metacrawler and Alta Vista fanboy. But they’re not really cool anymore.
JENNY GUY: They went out of fashion. How do you feel about the Justin Timberlake meme?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I believe you know from karaoke that I’m more of a Backstreet Boys fan.
JENNY GUY: That’s fair. That’s very fair. I don’t know. There aren’t any good Backstreet Boy memes out there. Somebody needs to get on that. And then let’s meet my other guest. Returning to Teal Talk is Andrew Wilder, who is the founder and CEO of NerdPress a digital agency that provides WordPress maintenance and support for hundreds of publishers and small businesses placing an emphasis on site speed, stability, and security. We love all those things.
He has been building, breaking, fixing, and maintaining website since 1998, NSYNC was really cool then, and has spoken on a wide variety of technical topics in plain English at conferences such as Word Camp LAX, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, TasteMaker, Food and Wine, Fuel Your Influence, and of course Mediavine. Welcome.
ANDREW WILDER: Hi. I remember road tripping in a 24 foot U-Haul to that song.
JENNY GUY: Yes.
ANDREW WILDER: That’s the soundtrack of that road trip. So that is always going to bring back that memory.
JENNY GUY: I mean, it’s a good memory. I don’t know why they chose to say me as May, but they did. And it was a great choice. And it’s going to live forever in infamy. So let’s dive into what a– it’s a big topic. It’s a challenging topic. And it’s something that’s going to impact all of us who wish to have traffic from Google. So let’s start at the very beginning. What is Google page experience? What are Core Web Vitals? And why does everybody care so much? I’m going to start with Eric and then go to Andrew. And let’s break it down.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah. So page experience is kind of a rebranding of a bunch of old signals from the Google Search algorithm. It’s a combination of basically things that make a better user experience for readers as they browse your site. I have a blog post that actually came out today that has a little checklist that we’ll go over all the kind of rebranded ones. They’re just simple things like making sure your site is secure, making sure you don’t have mobile pop ups, things you’ve already probably been doing because Google’s been yelling at you to do them for the past 10, 15 years.
And then additionally, there’s the Core Web Vitals, which is the bigger change. And that is Google’s new page feed metrics that they want you to hit. So you have basically three scores that we’re trying to hit. And some of them are a little bit counter to each other. We’ll go through them a lot more later. But they’re basically making your site faster and making sure it doesn’t bounce around as it loads. So a lot of fun stuff happening.
JENNY GUY: It’s, I mean, fun I would say. I’m going to put that in some air quotes. Andrew. Chime in here. What are you seeing with your clients?
ANDREW WILDER: Well, I’m seeing everybody freaking out.
JENNY GUY: Yeah.
ANDREW WILDER: So I do want to mention to add to what Eric just said. Google has said, this is the rollout of Core Web Vitals. So they’re planning on revisiting this annually. So get used to it. It’s just all part of the new cruelty. So there’s three specific metrics, and we’re going to get into those, that we want to be focusing on right now but. I think before we go further, I want to say, don’t panic. It’s really important not to panic. This is going to start slowly.
So we are not going to see massive ranking changes on May 1. It’s just not going to happen that way. And Google has explicitly said that. They’re trying to calm everybody down too. So everybody breathe and go into this with an open mind. And know that the goal of all of this is to make your site better for your visitors. So it’s really a win-win. And if you can make your site better for visitors, Google’s going to reward that, lift you up in the rankings a little bit hopefully, and it’s a virtuous cycle let’s hope.
JENNY GUY: One of the things, Eric, that you’ve been talking about with respect to the Core Web Vitals in your post today that we’re going to share, in our handout at the end we’ll have everything looped up there, guys, but that we’re finally seeing a quantifiable metric here that for the page speed that Google’s always been pushing and wanting page speed and pushing us to do it. But now we actually have goals that are set.
ANDREW WILDER: Yeah. And that’s the double edged sword of this. So right now, they’ve said the actual numbers that they want us to hit. And that’s great except they’re treating every site equally. So that’s not so great. And it’s a pass fail kind of thing. So you have to hit all three metrics if you want to pass the Core Web Vitals, as they say.
And the way of measuring the metrics keeps changing so that’s even harder. Because they’re fine tuning this because it’s all new. They just recently last week or the week before changed how they measure layout shifts for pages that are open for a long time, which could be a big difference for people who have recipes on their site. If the recipe is open while somebody is cooking, an ad is reloading and something’s shifting, that’s going to change the score. So they’re changing this to fine tune it.
So it’s going to keep evolving. And we just all have to be prepared to accept the fact that this will be a moving target for a while. So but by giving us actual numbers to hit, that’s clarity that we don’t usually get from Google. Usually it’s like, oh, make sure you’re faster than your competitors. It’s like, what does that mean? But if you can measure your site and see that your first contentful paint is a third of a second slower than it should be or whatever the metric is, you know what you need to improve and how far you need to improve it.
JENNY GUY: What’s different about this is rather than just emphasizing speed, which is what we have always done, yes, you want to be fast, but this is actually things you can hit. It’s quantifiable metrics that they’re asking for. Did you want to share a little bit on that?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: No, I agree with Andrew’s sentiment. They may be challenging the hit. But at least we finally have a number to go after, which to me is a big stress relief. We have been vaguely describing page speed as an industry, as whatever you want to call it, for the last 10, 15 years. Now we have a definition. This is what Google says page speed is.
And sure, they’re going to be changing over the years. And they’ll probably be adding more. They’ll be changing the targets. They’ve already changed them several times since they announced them. But at least, they’re published. And we know what we’re going after. So I think it’s a good thing.
ANDREW WILDER: I will say I’m not thrilled that Google’s the one deciding this. That’s not how the web is supposed to work. There’s a black box inside Google that– and they come out with this stuff. And we don’t know how many people are involved. There’s no open conversation. So that’s a little frustrating too. But it’s Google. So they win. We have to get in step with Google, or we’re not going to stay competitive as site owners. So that’s me venting. And I can’t really do anything about it. But–
JENNY GUY: At this point, we want to do well in Google. And to do that, we need to do what Google says to do. If they can actually say one thing that they want you to do, it’s kind of a moving target right now. So while we’re talking about all these measurements, and Andrew even brought up, which we’re going to talk more about later, that it’s pass fail. There’s not even a scale. You either are or you aren’t. And if you’re not, that’s too bad.
Where do you find Core Web Vitals? If I want to look, Eric, should I check in Search Console? Or is it Google PageSpeed Insights? What’s the difference? Why is it different? Where do I look?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Everywhere. You have to look everywhere, unfortunately when it comes to your Core Web Vitals. So yeah. Your Search Console is going to be one of the best places because that’s a measurement of what real world users are experiencing on your pages and uses something called CrUX, which is actually Chrome reports real world users on your site, how quickly things loaded, how much layout shift there was.
And that’s great because that is we’re pretty much positive is what Google is using to determine your rankings. So that’s whether you’re getting your pass or fail grade. But you want to have tools to help you figure out along the way if you improving things. And unfortunately, Search Console takes 28 days to– yeah. It’s like basically the rolling 28 days. So sometimes, you might make a change. It would be a month before you know if it worked. So you probably want something that’s a little more responsive than that.
So you’re also going to want to use PageSpeed Insights, which has what’s called Lab Data where it will test the first screen view. But what I really like is there’s a Chrome extension called Core Web Vitals that you can install. And you can watch in real time as you’re browsing a page how long it took to load. It can show you as Cumulative Layout shift happens as you scroll. So really, you’re going to want a bevy of tools for solving this and not just one.
JENNY GUY: We’ve got a lot of questions. And we were about to roll into that just in a second because what everyone is talking about now is Core Web Vitals. Because as we said, it’s all part of this huge algorithm shift, which is page experience. But a lot of page experience has been there for a long time. They may rename it, but things like making your site secure, we did this battle three years ago. We know that’s one of the things that they want.
But the biggest thing are these Core Web Vitals. Like you said, three new acronyms that everyone is going to be talking about. One in particular, Andrew, will you give us a quick overview? We had a question from someone saying, what are these numbers that we need to hit? I’ve seen huge sites fail with very bad speed. They’re not– some sites with really terrible speed are passing Core Web Vitals. Will you give us these three acronyms that make Core Web Vital what it is?
ANDREW WILDER: Sure. So there’s three acronyms that are part of the Core Web Vitals. And then there’s other speed metrics that we’ve had for a while as well. So we’re talking about just these three for right now. The first one is LCP, which is Largest Contentful Paint. This is a shorthand way of measuring loading performance. And the idea is to help the page, or the site, respond quickly for the visitor so they’re not staring at a blank screen. And so the Largest Contentful Paint means it’s the largest thing in the viewport, or above the fold, when you first browse to a page.
The largest thing might not be the most important. But that’s kind of their proxy. They said, hey, whatever the largest thing is is probably the most important. So that’s the metric. So it’s like, if your a post title is really big, and that’s taking the largest part of the screen before you scroll, then that’s what they’re going to measure. So it’s, how long does your post title take to appear?
If you happen to have a shorter post and there’s an image above the fold, and that’s the largest thing on that particular page, then the metric is going to be, how fast does that image load? So it can be a little bit slippery because you have to figure out what the Largest Contentful Paint is. But basically, it’s the biggest thing above the fold to load and how long that takes.
JENNY GUY: LCP. One.
ANDREW WILDER: LCP, one. LCP is the first one. The second acronym, these are all TLAs, three letter acronyms.
JENNY GUY: Yes.
ANDREW WILDER: The second one is First Input Delay. This is a measure of interactivity of the page. So how responsive is the page after– or as it’s loading? So to provide a good user experience, the page should respond. So when you try to scroll on your phone, it shouldn’t have a lag. Things like that. That’s not as much of a problem on food blogs and publisher sites. We’re not seeing that being a big deal. I mean, we can talk about the specific numbers in a minute.
And then the third one, which is really the hard one, and this is what we’ve been struggling with, because this is also the new metric, is CLS, or Cumulative Layout Shift. And this measures the visual stability of the page. So as the page is loading, if things move around once they’re visible, that’s a layout shift. So to provide a good user experience, you don’t want stuff to be moving around all the time. The worst is when you go to click a button and something loads right above and pops down, and you click on that thing instead. That’s what they’re trying to avoid.
So it’s not really a speed metric. It’s more of a user experience metric, which is why they’re kind of rebranding this whole thing into page experience, not just site speed.
JENNY GUY: But where it gets tricky, though, is that the things we’ve done to help with page speed are now causing issues for CLS, correct? The things that we did like lazy loading images so that there isn’t such a heavy load on the server when the page is coming up, now have to because that’s what causes CLS to happen, right Eric? Eric, will you chime in on CLS? Because this is the one that ads have a lot to do with. Their not like peanut butter and jelly so much as peanut butter and arsenic. And I want to talk about how those things go– why is CLS and ads antithetical?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Which one’s the peanut butter? It’s fine. Don’t– ads are obviously the delicious peanut butter.
JENNY GUY: Where do I work? Hello.
So you mentioned a few with images. But ads we’re big culprit of this. And part of it is because Mediavine definitely lazy loads ads to make sure that your site stays fast and we’re only showing ads as user is about the scroll to them. That was one cause of CLS. There was other causes related to ads. If we went to go and refresh an ad, we’d run an auction where there could be different size ads that would load.
And again, that same concept that Andrew is describing where a button might move because of what happened, the same thing could happen with an ad. It might push content up, it might push content down as a different size with load. And then there’s a few other little smaller things that can happen as a result of ads. But yeah. I mean, all of these things kind of unfortunately have been advice from Google we’ve all been following. And that’s why they came out with Cumulative Layout Shift because they didn’t want a bunch of speed hacks to make it look like things were faster. They wanted things to be faster as well to the user.
JENNY GUY: So you’ve said before that ads are not the best. Ads are clearly not the best when it comes to CLS. What do we do? We want to make monies and we don’t want Google to hate us.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Right. So that’s why at Mediavine, we came out with an optimized for CLS ad setting. And what it basically does is as the page loads, the very first thing we do is we lay out where the ads are going to be on the page. And we create what’s called a placeholder or a spot where the ad could go. And we take the maximum size that ad can be. So we had to get rid of some of the larger ads as a result of this, which is why we warn people there may be a tiny hit to revenue. It’s very small.
We found less than really honestly less than 1% for most sites. So we eliminated the larger ads, reserved the space we would need for the largest possible ad, and then as that ad loaded, it’s now inside of what we call we an ad box, or a little gray area where the ad will load. Not the best name. I’ll admit it, Jenny.
JENNY GUY: Knows I don’t like it.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Nope. So it would be centered in there. So sometimes, you might see a smaller ad. Sometimes you’ll see a larger ad in that space. But that space is reserving the largest space it can. And then as ads refresh, we make sure we don’t show the ad until it’s ready because it’s very easy to trigger CLS as an ad is even loading within that spot. And then basically, again, it won’t be any bigger than that area. So refresh won’t trigger any of the rest of the content to move around.
And then finally, we had to come up with a crazy fix for our sidebar because there’s an error in the way that Google calculates CLS today, whereas a object moves from what’s called to fixed positioning, it’s a CSS term, don’t worry. Google is incorrectly seeing it as something is shifting even though nothing was shifting. And so we had to have an experimental mode that we have right now that we hope we’ll be able to remove in the future if Google fixes this bug. But for now you’re also going to want to enable that to fix your desktop CLS.
And that basically uses– you don’t have to worry about it, but new CSS properties known as sticky, which are not supported on all themes. So if make a couple of changes to your theme, the system automatically does it for you. Nothing you’ve got to worry about. But if you turn that on, it fix your desktop sidebar as well.
JENNY GUY: OK. Two questions. One, previously with Mediavine everything– when we didn’t have an ad, we have a floor for our ad prices. If the price isn’t met, then the unit collapses. OK, what happens now? Because now there’s boxes?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Right.
JENNY GUY: Ad boxes.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Previously again, that was another cause of CLS is if an ad didn’t serve, we would always collapse the space, which was Google best practice in their code. We ran it that way. But the problem is if a user scrolls quickly, the ad auction runs. Let’s say there’s no ad. It might, again, as it goes to collapse, cause a little bit of content to shift. Again, CLS. So what we ended up doing now is we released a bunch of PSAs or public service announcements, that if you enable one of those an ad will serve in place of where a paying ad would have.
So these are free ads. But they’re all supporting great causes. Hopefully you can find one that is near and dear to your heart. And if you run that, then basically you’ll have an ad show instead of a blank spot. Because that’s what it would look like. Because remember, we have to reserve the space now. So if you didn’t have a PSA serving there, you’re just have a large gray box. So we think it’s definitely a better experience make sure you enable a PSA.
JENNY GUY: Love that. We will share some information about how to for Mediavine publishers to go in and look at all the PSA options. We just added a pup option real lately, a pup and kitten adopt don’t shop option. It’s a good one. OK.
ANDREW WILDER: Love that one.
JENNY GUY: OK, but what if I turn this on, Andrew, and it doesn’t fix all my CLS issues? What if I turn on the setting and now I still am not passing?
ANDREW WILDER: So from what we’ve been seeing, ads are by far the biggest contributor to CLS, or have been. So you absolutely need to turn this on. I saw that question on the sidebar. Yes. Log in right now to your Mediavine dashboard and switch this on. But it takes 28 days for all the data to be collected from the time you turn it on. So you are not going to see results immediately. So that’s the frustrating part with this.
So most sites we’re seeing are not seeing huge above the fold shifts. It might be a small contributor. Or there might be one or two specific things that need to be addressed. But beyond that, it’s like turning this on is going to be the biggest workhorse in the toolkit really, and waiting. You have to be patient.
JENNY GUY: OK there’s a whole lot of questions. So both of you guys just get ready. Here we go. Morgan Smith McBride. My question for when you get to this topic, we were going to talk about this, but this is one of the page experience points about the interstitial pop ups. It was said not to use interstitial pop UPS on mobile based on the article just shared today. It was your article. Eric, does this mean I should not be having convert kit email sign up pop ups? I have them set pop up after 30 seconds. These are for post specific opt ins. Thanks.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Can I pass this off to Andrew because I have such strong feelings about pop ups?
JENNY GUY: I’d like both of you to share your opinions.
ANDREW WILDER: All right. Well, I’ll say what Google says. So the mobile interstitial penalty is designed so that when somebody clicks through from the search results to the first page view of a website, to not block the content. So if you click through and you start reading a post and you’re trying to answer the question, your search intent, and a popup shows up and covers it, that’s potentially going to trigger the penalty.
There is some debate on whether you can have a pop up at all on the first page view. But basically, you do not want to interfere with the actual content. I personally think it doesn’t make any sense to pop up a form before the person’s even had a chance to interact with your site because they’re just going to close it. They don’t even know who you are yet. You need to build trust or they’re never going to opt in anyway.
So this is also, this is different than the interstitial ads that Mediavine can run. And Eric, you might want to clarify that too. So there are different things. But if you use a tool that lets you– at the very least, make sure you scroll 50% or 60% down on the page or do an exit intent pop up on desktop. Or at least wait 30 seconds. That’s probably enough. But I don’t know because I’m not Google, whether or not it triggers that penalty. But try not to interfere with the content. Eric, you want to add anything to that?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah. Good. See, that’s why I’m glad you answered it, because it’s almost impossible to say yes or no to that exact thing. Can you do it after 30 seconds? We don’t know, which is why I always err on the side of don’t. But yeah. I mean let me talk about the ads real quick. Because that is important to differentiate.
So the way that Mediavine runs what are called interstitial ads, they are completely optional. You probably don’t even have them on for most publishers under optional ad units. If you turn them on, they’re actually run by Google themselves. That’s how we know that they’re Google compliant. But they run in between page views. So Google allows you to run a pop up on the second page, as Andrew was saying. And that’s what this interstitial experience is. It’s after the first page view. It’s before the second or in between.
And that is completely allowed. So if you want to do your pop up between views, you can certainly do that, and you could definitely do it on the second page you. It’s really the first page you as a user arrives from Google Search that they’re concerned about. I mean, I personally don’t like to play games and risk any search penalty. So I wouldn’t even do the 30 seconds on my own personal sites. But I can tell you the ads are going to be fine for Google Search.
JENNY GUY: Quickly–
ANDREW WILDER: Can I–
JENNY GUY: Yeah, of course.
ANDREW WILDER: Sorry, I just saw Noreen’s comment of, why do pop ups at all? I totally agree. There are other options. You don’t have to interfere. You can have a header that drops down if you’re using Foodie Pro and the new mobile menu. There’s a link that you can add that says Subscribe right at the top. So it’s much more user friendly and less intrusive. So there are other options out there. You don’t have to do pop ups at all.
JENNY GUY: There’s this new widget out there. It’s crazy. It’s called Spotlight Subscribe. What does that thing do, Eric?
* Editorial note: Since the airing of this episode, “Grow.me” has been rebranded to “Grow.” *
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I’ll plug our other solution as well that’s not a pop up. That’s a great idea. Yeah. So within Grow.me, we have a free email subscription opt in that you can run. And it runs inside the content. And when a user scrolls to it, it basically darkens out the rest of the page temporarily. The rest of the page comes back or if they click, or if they scroll, or just wait enough time.
So it’s not an actual pop up. And it doesn’t overlay over content. It’s in between content. And it’s a much better user experience. It doesn’t have obviously quite the same conversion. Nothing does when you stop a user dead in their tracks and don’t allow them to do anything else. But that’s also why it’s a bad experience. You probably don’t want to do everything I just described. So Spotlight Subscribe is a pretty good compromise we feel.
JENNY GUY: We’ve got a few things. We’ve got other people asking about Spotlight Subscribe. I’m going to have to go all the way back up to the top because there are a lot of questions. But let’s stay here right with this. Mike, he says, how do we get Spotlight Subscribe?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Oh, very easy. If you’re a Mediavine publisher, inside of your dashboard there’s a Grow.me under Settings. It is literally just a toggle. Once you have grow.com on, you just toggle Spotlight Subscribe. And inside there, you can customize it, upload an image, change the text, and download your subscribers.
JENNY GUY: Morgan says, Spotlight Subscribe doesn’t work for opt ins.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Doesn’t work as well?
JENNY GUY: We don’t have that capability yet. Right? We don’t have where they’re able to specifically– there’s a lot we’re adding to the Spotlight Subscribe feature.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, and so it doesn’t directly integrate with your ESP right now, your Email Sending Provider. Right now, it works as you downloaded CSV. And I know that kind of breaks a lot of people’s flows where they have a welcome flow and they want to make sure you came in off this particular giveaway. Maybe that’s what you’re referring to. And if so, then yes. That is coming soon. We’re working on a Zapier integration, which will allow you to connect to any ESP you want.
So whether it’s ConvertKit, Mailchimp, whoever you find, MadMimi– I’m going to run out of names. So I’m going to pass it back to you.
JENNY GUY: OK. Lizzie says, Andrew, this is important. Does this include a pop up that asks for people to accept our cookies?
ANDREW WILDER: No. As long as the popup isn’t covering the screen. So the bar that pops up, or slides up at the bottom, totally fine.
JENNY GUY: OK. So yeah. Eric’s post today also said anything about legality. Anything to do with CCPA, or GDPR, or cookie acceptance, or any of those things, Google says is OK. Right? It could be as intrusive as you want.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: They have a note about– yeah. And they actually use a cookie accept as their example in their blog post. If it’s a legal requirement, then you’re good to go.
JENNY GUY: OK. I’m going back through. We have somebody who said– sorry, I have to go way, way, way far back. And yes, there are a lot of acronyms. If we are pulling a 99 in PageSpeed Insights using Trellis, are we OK then? Are those directly related? Are Core Web Vitals and PageSpeed the same thing?
ANDREW WILDER: I’m going to let–
JENNY GUY: They’re both waiting for– [LAUGHS]
ANDREW WILDER: I’m going to let Eric answer that first.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I mean, they’re close. They’re correlated obviously. If you have a high page speed, you are more than likely going to hit the Core Web Vitals. But that number doesn’t matter anymore. The number that matters now are your Core Web Vitals. But again, chances are if you have a 99, that’s an exceptionally high score. I’d be very surprised if you’re not hitting Largest Contentful Paint and First Input Delay. But you still want to keep an eye on them. Make sure that you’re also hitting your Core Web Vitals. So go into your Google Search Console and just check.
It will show you if you’re passing those two. And it actually shows you all three of your acronyms separately. So you can check if you’re maybe still failing CLS but passing. And again, the PageSpeed related ones which are Largest Contentful Paint, LCP, and First Input Delay, FID.
JENNY GUY: And again, you can pass two, and fail one, and you fail the whole thing. Right? Is that accurate? OK, fun. Thanks, Googs.
ANDREW WILDER: So let me– can I step back and clarify a couple of things we’re talking about in terms of measurement tools? Because this part that I’m about to explain is to me the point of clarity where in the last few weeks I’ve realized a couple of things in terms of looking at these metrics. So I use Google PageSpeed Insights for most of the testing. That’s the one I recommended for everybody because that’s going to the source. It’s using Lighthouse, which is the underlying engine.
There’s a bunch of different sections once you test a page in there. And the different sections have very different meanings. So it’s important you know what you’re looking at. I first of all recommend not paying too much attention to the top score at the top. So getting a 99, that feels real good. But it has no bearing on anything in reality. It doesn’t impact anything. It’s just a score from a test run in a simulated browser. So when you punch–
JENNY GUY: Shucks.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Sorry. I mean, a 99’s great. It probably means that your site is fast. But getting a 99 doesn’t earn you anything. The number itself is just a calculation. So when you test a URL in PageSpeed Insights, it’s going to do a simulated test on a mobile 3G phone. It’s going to pretend and do these calculations and come up with some numbers. So it’s actually not the first result you see.
If you go down to the lab data section, which is I think the third section, that shows six scores which the Core Web Vitals are three of the six. So LCP, FID, CLS are going to be in those lab data scores. There’s three others in there. The overall score is actually just calculated from those six lab data scores. So they actually have a nifty little interactive calculator you can click through and turn the knobs and see if your CLS goes up a little bit what your overall score does.
So the overall score, don’t give it too much credence. If you pay attention to the six lab data times, you can then see what’s actually causing problems and what’s good. The big trick, though with CLS is it’s– and Eric mentioned this briefly earlier. The lab data is only measuring CLS above the fold or in the viewport. So hold onto that for a second. If you go back up on the page, then you’re going to see field data and origin summary. Those are both pulling from the Chrome User Experience Report, the CrUX data. That’s the real world data that Google’s using for all of this stuff.
So that’s the same data, or supposed to be the same data, that you’re seeing in Google Search Console. So this Chrome User Experience Report is all in some database that Google houses. And GPSI and GSC are both pulling from that. We have seen major discrepancies where it seems like Google Search Console is not actually updating. So it’s supposed to be identical, but it isn’t always. So that can be challenging because that I think it’s just a bug.
But the field data is the Chrome User Experience real world data for that one URL. If that site doesn’t get a lot of traffic, it might not have field data for that one URL. And then there’s the origin summary, which is the CrUX data for all of your URLs across your site. And so if it’s showing the field data, you can check the box to show the origin summary. If it’s not showing the field data, it’ll show the origin summary. Those are the numbers to watch for in terms of the pass fail.
So you can look at Google Search Console. But GPSI gives you a quick test. And so you’ll see four metrics in there. Three of those are LCP, FID, CLS. So what we’re seeing most commonly is the lab data for CLS will be good. It’ll be like 0.01 and it’ll be green. But then if you look at the origin summary, your CLS might be 0.77 or 1.5.
If you see a big discrepancy there, that means it’s probably below the fold and it’s probably ads, and you probably haven’t turned on Mediavine CLS optimization yet. Or you haven’t waited four weeks. So the big, big takeaway for everybody is turn that on. And then watch those two numbers over the next few weeks. And you should see the origin summary CLS trending down over time.
JENNY GUY: Yes.
ANDREW WILDER: OK.
JENNY GUY: Can’t wait until my origin summary CLS trends down. It’ll be a happy day for all. Big question here. We’ve got Robin and Mallory both asking a similar thing. Robin says, for each of these, can you differentiate between desktop and mobile since the scores are so different? And Valerie says, does Google treat mobile and desktop scores for Core Web Vitals differently in determining rankings? How does Core Web Vitals play into mobile first indexing? Who wants to go?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: The unknown. So throw it right to me. So right now– so remember, Google first actually introduced page speed as a metric for desktop before they even did mobile. They were measuring your page on desktop before mobile if you look back to I don’t even know how long we were going back now, 10 years ago. And so then when they did mobile, that was part of their mobile first indexing, or before even mobile first indexing. They used to give you basically two different rankings. This is your desktop ranking, this is your mobile ranking, and that’s when they introduced mobile page speed.
This is the best we have to go off of that we can assume the reason they’re still doing desktop and mobile scores separately is because there are two different rankings. That’s the best we can guess. But with Google, you got to solve for both really. I mean, that’s what I would recommend doing. And most of the features, so optimize ads for page speed, we have separate desktop and mobile, where optimized ads for CLS are just one. And both that will optimize for both desktop and mobile.
So it’s important. I would say, that you’re hitting Core Web Vitals on both just to be on the safe side. Because they definitely are measuring them separately. So I imagine there’s a reason why.
JENNY GUY: We’ve got a lot of questions. So I’m going to just go. Both of you, be ready. If you know the answer, jump in. OK. Jen says, I’ve been going back and forth of Mediavine, Andrew’s team, and the person who developed my site. There are issues with my fonts loading. And I have no idea what to do. Everyone is talking in another language. Help.
ANDREW WILDER: It’s hard to be specific on something like this. And so it becomes a question of– it’s kind of like image optimization. You want your images to load fast so you have to compress the heck out of them. But then they don’t look good. So you’ve got to strike this balance. So fonts are a big challenge right now for sure. Web fonts are problematic. Eric talked about you load a fallback font, and then when the web font loads, everything shifts a little bit. So finding a fallback font if you’re going to use web fonts that very closely matches so things don’t shift is really important, or just switching to system fonts.
If you’re using Trellis, you can just toggle it and say, hey, I’m getting system fonts. And everything’s faster. So Jen, I’d have to take another look at your site which we can do after this call. But it might also be not as big of an issue as we think it is. That’s what I’ve been kind of noticing is, once the ads start getting solved, if the font layout is 0.02, and you have up to 0.1, if it’s only actually a tiny contributor to the score, maybe you can live with it. And maybe you can be like, OK. I’m going to hedge my bets and I’m going to wait for all the new ad boxes to solve the layout problem for ads.
Maybe we can call them ad sync– ad star sync. I don’t know. So I think the biggest way to parse all this out is to try to look at above the fold shifts versus below the fold shifts because that really helps kind of in the choose your own adventure of what to fix next, that helps narrow it down. The other thing on PageSpeed Insights that is helpful is the filmstrip view, which is just below the lab data where it has all those little thumbnails across.
And those are little snapshots of your site as it’s loading. So if you look and you see that something– the first picture is here and then it moves up in the next image, that means it’s moving. It’s really hard to see on those tiny boxes. But that’s one place you can look. I also recommend webpagetest.org. Have it create a video when you test a URL. And it gives you a much bigger filmstrip. You can also generate a video that plays in slow motion. So you can watch stuff very slowly shifting. And you can catch what it is.
So but beyond that, unfortunately, every site’s a little bit different. So it takes a lot of work. I mean, we’re working through this on clients. And we could spend an hour or two per site to try to get the stuff fixed. And a lot of stuff we can’t fix because it’s in the theme or it’s ads. So there’s a lot of education and learning going on for all of us right now. And that’s why I’m grateful that Google is rolling this out slowly.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So one quick caveat that I’m just going to throw in, I would try to do what you can to lower your above the fold CLS as much as you can because you’re going to want that buffer on a long page view. Even with ads perfectly solved, there may be CLS. We’ve seen, I don’t know, so the Hollywood Gossip for example is passing Core Web Vitals array. And that’s only been after the last, I don’t even know how long the CLS fixes have been live. So after maybe a week.
So I’m very confident it’s going to be passing obviously after 28 days with a full data. And I hope everyone experiences that. But one of the things about THE is it has zero CLS above the fold. So it had a lot more buffer. And I think that will certainly help. So font fall-back, that’s how we’re going to be solving in Trellis. We don’t want everyone to have to run system fonts. I mean, I love them. I run them on The Hollywood Gossip because I think they look great on– it’s the font that people are used to reading on that device. That’s what a system font is.
So I’m on my iPhone and everything else is in that same font, it’s not going to look weird to me that your site is in that font. I promise you. Especially on mobile where you don’t have the full design. So first, system fonts are not terrible. But we do recognize that some people want to have Google Fonts. So we’re working on exactly what Andrew said is the fallback is going to be around the same dimensions. And so if you can find one that matches, I would do it even if it is only 0.1 or 0.2. Just give yourself a little more buffer. Whatever you can.
I’d love to be able to say we solved everything for ads. But it’s tough.
ANDREW WILDER: Thanks for throwing that back at us, Eric.
JENNY GUY: So you said that the Hollywood Gossip has a lot of buffer. How do you give yourself more buffer other than– you said as you said using system fonts. What else can we do?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I mean, everything else to reduce CLS in that first screen view, and making sure– I mean, we can give you this code. But there’s a way to turn off your ads basically on a page and use one of those Chrome extensions and just see. If there’s no ads present on the page, do you get any CLS as you quickly scroll through the page? If you’re not getting any, then you’re right. It’s all ads. And you’ll be magically solved in 28 days. And just relax.
But yeah. I mean, I would basically turn off, I think it’s test equals– we can send you killswitch. I can’t remember what the exact command is to disable your ads. Good. On the spot I got it right. So if you have that running and you see absolutely no CLS, then you’re fine. If you see a little bit of CLS, that’s taking away from that buffer that I’m describing because you just never want to risk ads.
Again, there will be some ads and maybe out from a third party that cause some animation that Google decides is a CLS shift. It’s beyond Mediavine’s control. There will be stuff on a long enough page view that will probably cause CLS. So that’s what I mean by buffer. Get the number as low as you can, annoy Andrew and his team to help fix you with all the other issues if you have other ones, sorry Andrew, or run something like a Trellis and annoy our team. There’s a lot of people here that I can guarantee want to help you solve this as well.
JENNY GUY: I’ve got a list, Eric. And there’s a lot of ad questions. So buckle up. Here we go. Should we– Betsy says, so should we enable CLS options in our Mediavine Dashboard?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yes.
JENNY GUY: Yes. No hesitation, no question, no qualification. Yes, do it.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I would feel confident saying it is worth the small potential revenue if you have any amount of Google Search traffic.
JENNY GUY: Andrew, differing opinion? Or no pressure here. You are talking to Mediavine.
ANDREW WILDER: From my perspective, heck yes, turn that on. I can’t wait for the improvements. The 28 days can’t come fast enough. So Eric messaged me and he’s like, we’ve got it. And I’m like, get it on my site. I want to test it. And it’s working great. So no, we’re super excited because this is going to really, really help.
JENNY GUY: Fantastic. OK, Norian says, if you are using Trellis, do you still feel we need to enable the CLS options? Eric and Andrew both say yes.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: 110% then. Because I know your other CLS issues can be solved by our team. So definitely turn it on.
JENNY GUY: Kristine Cook says updates on GumGum Ads on images.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: I talk to GumGum almost daily about this. And I promise you that’s one of the things I was talking about. There might be an animation that is causing CLS. And that’s actually from– that’s just one of many partners that have what are called native ads, especially GumGum on image. CLS is being triggered as the animation happens, not actually shifting anything on the page. But GumGum is working on it. I could promise you. They do not want anyone to have to turn this off in that.
JENNY GUY: So we’ve got several people who are saying, what do I do other than enabling these options and then I’m still getting issues? One is wait. But like you said, if you want to fix now, killswitch your ads, see what’s happening, and then go and fix those things. Is that the best advice we’re giving people? Enable the two settings, for sure. Then what else?
ANDREW WILDER: It depends on your site and what– it depends on what’s moving. So we can’t give you the answer on this. One thing that we have seen a lot of is if you use WP Recipe Maker and you have jump and or print buttons above the fold, if you turn off their performance settings in the WP Recipe Maker settings, if you turn those off, that can actually help because it causes the buttons to load and not shift after they load.
If you have the performance, it loads some CSS later, and they shift a little bit. So that’s one of the common ones we see. If you use Slickstream, sorry Eric, if you use Slickstream, they’ve been implementing a CLS fix as well. So if you use the Slickstream plugin, you can turn that on. And that reserves a placeholder at the top for their filmstrip so then when the filmstrip loads, it doesn’t push everything down.
So those are two of the most common ones we see on our client’s sites. Mobile menus are another one. If you have a mobile menu that was maybe five years old, six years old, and wasn’t performant, it may load with everything and then snap a little bit or move a little bit as the styling’s applied. So that’s where you have to test and see what’s changing. And then you have to work on that.
JENNY GUY: Fantastic. OK, Eric. What about sticky sidebar CLS?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Also that is a feature I would turn on. So that one actually isn’t going to impact your revenue. The thing you need to keep a look on that one is, and I think we mostly squashed all this. We have to basically set a height on your page without going into too many details to make the sticky attribute work. And so you may see as you keep scrolling, your page looks like it’s growing. And we had to just fix that on a few sites. It’s a very weird problem.
You would notice it if it’s happening on your site. I can promise you would never turn it on and then user your site on desktop and then not notice if it were a problem. I think everyone who has emailed in has had the problem fixed. So it’s pretty safe to turn on. And again, you would notice if there’s an issue. It’s not going to tank your earnings. It’s not going to really hurt anything. It’s just going to cause a little bit of weirdness.
JENNY GUY: I’m going to read a few happy things and then ask some more questions. Pamela says, I found that the Spotlight Subscribe feature works better than any opt in feature. And I can offer them something once I have them in a welcome sequence. My subscribe rate has ballooned. And better yet, after using it for a while, I found that those who signed up via the Spotlight open emails and click through better than any that signed up for opt ins.
ANDREW WILDER: Nice.
JENNY GUY: It may not be science, Pamela, but we like to hear it. Camilla says, Andrew, where in Foodie Pro can you get a drop down subscriber option?
ANDREW WILDER: You have to have the Feast plugin. And in there, it’s the modern mobile menu. So it’s not just Foodie Pro, but it’s the newer version of Foodie Pro plus the Feast plugin.
JENNY GUY: Fantastic. Camilla, we got you. OK, Brittanie says so if those six lab datas are green, we are good? Yes?
ANDREW WILDER: Not necessarily. OK. So that goes back to the, hey, I got a 99 on GPSA. If those six lab datas are green, you’re going to be looking at a 90 plus probably in PageSpeed Insights. But it’s not looking at below the fold layout shift. So that’s why you also have to keep an eye on your origin summary. But if those lab datas are green, and you turn on the CLS optimization in your Mediavine dashboard, then you should be good.
JENNY GUY: Good to hear. Yes.
ANDREW WILDER: That’s the plan, that’s the plan.
JENNY GUY: We have so many things happening. We’ve got people debating the merits of pop ups. There’s a lot going on in these comments. You guys should go back and read these because they’re great. “What will happen if I enable this ‘Optimize Sticky Sidebar CLS?’ I’m afraid because it says, proceed with caution.”
ERIC HOCHBERGER: We just have to be scared. Again, turn it on. And just use your site on desktop. See if it looks weird. If it looks weird, turn it off, email in, and we’ll fix it for you. The good news is everything’s instant, by the way, in the Mediavine dashboard. You turn a feature on, it’s on your site, you can check it out right away, and then you can turn it off because these features are opt in opt out. So turn it off if it’s causing any issues. Don’t be scared.
JENNY GUY: Camilla says, GPSI, Google PageSpeed Insights. Correct? That’s what we’re talking about when we say GPSI. Great.
ANDREW WILDER: Yes.
JENNY GUY: Amanda says, “if we optimize CLS in our dashboard per the new feature and after, say, 40 days, the CLS does not improve, what do we do? Lower our ads?”
ERIC HOCHBERGER: No. That probably means there’s another problem. And so I would first, again, try to killswitch and see if there’s anything besides ads causing it. If you’re in a good place, again, the Hollywood Gossip doesn’t do anything special. It runs Mediavine ads the same as every other site here. And I can promise you everything is cranked up to the max on that site because, sorry readers, you’re going to read your gossip whether there’s an ad or not. That’s just the nature of these people.
So I would say you do not need to change any of your settings if you’re not passing. There’s probably another thing that’s not ads, or it might be something like, again, some animation from an ad. And that might just be a GumGum thing. So email in after 40 days, if your content, everything else is fixed on your site so we could take a look.
JENNY GUY: We have got a lot of people, well, I would say a handful of people that are saying– like for instance like Jennifer. This is all great to me. How do we get help? I feel like my site is going to explode. We have some people saying, this is all about my head. I need Core Web Vitals for dummies. What if we need some help? I know that developers– I’ve seen quite a few comments in the Mediavine Facebook group of people saying that developers are pretty taxed right now. They’re pretty swamped. It’s like trying to go get a tax professional on April 14. It’s very hard.
Back in the before times when tax day was actually on April 15. That’s not relevant for the last two years. But my joke would make sense in another world. Where do people go? Where do they– thank you. Where do they go? What do they do?
ANDREW WILDER: So everybody is swamped right now because this affects the entire internet. You’re going to have to be patient. Some developers have waitlists. We at NerdPress have a wait list. So you can get in our queue and get on the schedule. We’re booking people in June right now. I know that’s after May. That’s why we’re rolling– we’re glad Google is rolling this out slowly.
Can I quote Google, and maybe that’ll help everybody calm down a little bit? So Google published a frequently asked questions on this stuff. And they say, publishers shouldn’t worry that when we begin using page experience, as a ranking factor, that they may suffer some immediate significant drop if they’re still working on making improvements. But publishers should be focused on making those improvements a relative priority over time.
So everybody’s working on this. And it is relative. Because as more and more sites continue to improve their experience, it’ll be the norm that publishers will want to match. But the bigger point is they will continue to prioritize pages with the best information, overall even if some aspects of page experience are subpar.
What we’re talking about today is really more of a tiebreaker in the ranking. It’s not going to be a major ranking factor. And I don’t think it ever will be a major ranking factor. Your content is the most important thing. There’s thousands of metrics they use in their algorithms. This is just one. We’re hyper focused on it because they’ve told us what it is. So there’s this, what is it, primacy or recency? We’re able to focus on it because we’re obsessing over it.
But writing great posts and providing great content, way more important than anything we’ve talked about today.
JENNY GUY: And they’ve already said all that. This is just new. Google’s already told us that you got to write good stuff in their basic SEO guide that we cite all the time. That’s a new. That’s kind of a yawn thing. And I feel like we’re always looking for the Easy button with Google. And this has almost like become the Easy button. If I pass Core Web Vitals, will I be number one? Is that a thing?
ANDREW WILDER: Absolutely not.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: No.
ANDREW WILDER: Eric?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: No. That’s exactly what I say all the time in SEO Like A CEO. 90% is your content, 10% is the rest. If you don’t have the good content, none of these tiebreakers are going to matter because you’re not even going to show up. Are you writing the right keywords? Are you writing good content? Are people linking to that content? Are people engaging with that content? There’s a lot more things you can focus on. Don’t beat yourself up. And again, it is rolling out.
It’s not like May 1 comes around and suddenly all of your rankings tank. They haven’t even give us the date in May when it starts rolling out. And it doesn’t happen to all sites. When we got mobile first indexing, it took some sites months before they actually got impacted by this. And they emailed us and said, hey. You are now on mobile first indexing. It might take six months before it hits your site. So don’t worry I think is the best thing. Don’t stress. This is not the only thing that matters. If this is taking away your ability to make content right now, you’re probably doing yourself more harm by obsessing over this than making content.
So do what you can. Wait a little bit. If you want to sign up for a wait list, that’s a great idea. There happens to be a Trellis one too that you can– I’ll throw our hat in the ring. Sign up and wait and relax. I think that’s the most important thing. And still focus on running your core business. Because this is not your core business. Your core business is creating content. So focus on that while you’re waiting. And try not to stress.
JENNY GUY: This is when Web Stories came out. Nobody said, stop making blog posts and start making only Web Stories all day long. Your job is not now making Google Web Stories. That’s not what your job is. Your job is to continue to make great content on your site and promote to social, and do all the things that you’re already doing. This is something to think about. And a lot of good things are going to happen with the two settings. Because as we said, the newest acronym and the one that everyone’s struggling with is the CLS.
The majority of that is going to be taken care of. It’s caused by ads. If you’re with Mediavine, we fixed most of that issue. So woo sa. It’s all right. Camilla says, in Google Search Console, when should I validate a fix? I fixed a bunch of stuff today but have more work to do. Both of you like to talk about Google Search Console. Andrew’s unmuted so you can go first.
ANDREW WILDER: Sure. Great question because the way Core Web Vitals fixes are validated in Search Console is different than other coverage issues or enhancements. So when you click Validate Fixes, it restarts a 28 day clock. So it basically starts the clock and starts tracking the new data that comes in. And it can take up to 28 days from then. So if you fixed a whole bunch of stuff and you think that’s going to improve it, go ahead and click Validate Fixes and then wait.
It may actually clear up faster or it may fail faster. It doesn’t have to take 28 days. But it needs time to collect real world user data. Because what it’s actually doing is people who use the Chrome browser, the browser is sending data back of all these timings back to Google. And it’s absorbing all that data. So it actually is collecting real data. It’s not a simulation. So it needs time.
JENNY GUY: Sarah says, should we use our home page when we test in Google PageSpeed Insights, Eric? Or should we test actual blog post URLs?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So what’s important to note is that Google is measuring, I think, the 75th percentile. So it’s across all of your site. It’s not just one page. So really, you want to get where the most of your traffic is going. If you somehow have the only site that has still a high majority of your traffic going to your homepage, one, congratulations. You still own the internet. That’s awesome. But for most of us, it’s probably 1% or 2% of our traffic. Most of it comes from Pinterest, from Google Search, from all these other sources.
So I would say your home page should actually be lower priority. And I would focus on your top 10 posts. And that’s what I would be prioritizing working on the page speed for. Maybe your top 10 posts, you can push that big GIF that you have in the first screen view all the way down and make sure it’s lazy loaded. Look at your top 10 posts as opposed to your home page unless your home page is a large percentage of your traffic.
JENNY GUY: You ready for the question? You knew it was coming. “I know my theme is a dumpster fire. And I’ve been very patiently waiting for Trellis. It’s almost May and I’m trying to figure out what to do because I know there’s no way I’m passing all Core Web Vitals with my current theme. Any updates on Trellis availability?”
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So the best I can say is right now, we have another round of Trellis invites going out next week that will bring us up for all of 2020. We’ll have gotten their invites anyone who signed up in 2020. So hopefully, if you knew it was a dumpster fire, you signed up in 2020. And if it’s just a recent sign up, then you got a little bit of a wait unfortunately still. We’d love to open it up, but I want to make sure that Trellis is a great experience for everyone as they onboard it, as they install it.
We run into issues with each wave of new plugin conflict, things that we’re finding. We don’t want to have that problem repeat across a giant deluge of people. We want to do it in a slow and measured way. So we’re not there yet, Melissa. But again, next week, all of 2020 should be receiving their invites.
JENNY GUY: We have about five people who are going to be increasing Andrew’s wait list length. So that’s happening now. Lizzie says, so to be clear, in Mediavine settings, it’s OK to have interstitial ads turned on or it is OK?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yes. It is OK.
JENNY GUY: Those are Google Ads. So Google is OK with their own ads unless they change something. Google could– they’re fickle. We have, will Trellis be compatible with the Feast themes in the future?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: So I know that Skylar over at Feast has said that he wants to basically make Trellis versions. You’d have to get a timeline from Feast directly. I know the Feast plugin itself does work with Trellis. But the individual themes are, I still, believe in progress.
JENNY GUY: Oops. Do I have to click that validate thing after I enabled the Mediavine CLS fix? I did that a week or two ago. Andrew?
ANDREW WILDER: I love your reading of that question. Honestly, I’d just let it ride and see how it comes back. I think one important thing to note about the validate fixes is whether or not you actually click that button doesn’t really matter. Google just cares about the underlying data. So it’s going to be collecting that data and looking at that CrUX data on its own. So if you never even log into Google Search Console, it won’t change your rankings. So it’s more of a, this is how you can test it to get Google to say, yes, you’re good.
But as long as you’ve actually made the improvements on your site, you’re going to be in good shape.
JENNY GUY: OK, we always like to close out with action items. This has been a crazy, wild, wonderful, woolly as only it could be when we were talking about Google algorithm changes and had these two wonderful guests. So let’s close out with action items. What can publishers do between now and May to get themselves in good shape for the algorithm shift? Eric, I would really appreciate if you would tell people what they need to do when they get into their dashboard. If they have not done it yet, this is what you need to do now.
Before I do that, I’m going to make a couple of quick announcements. First of all, for our next episode, we only have two more Teal Talks left in season three before we move on to the Summer of Live. That is crazy. It will be our fourth Summer of Live. The episodes we are looking at now for sure we have some changes coming to Mediavine Video that we are going to be discussing on the first episode in May. We’re very excited about that.
So stay tuned for details on that. And then in other important news, we are looking for you. We need experts for the Summer of Live. So we’re going to be throwing out a call next week for everyone who has something that they want to share and teach to this audience to submit and come be a guest on a Summer of Live. We have 14 lives over the summer and we have a lot of different topics to cover from TikTok, to affiliate, to SEO, to more CLS talk. I’m sure we can talk about that any time because it’s always fun.
Just lots of different options. So please submit when we send that form out. In the meantime, Andrew, what can people do other than not panic, which we don’t want them to do?
ANDREW WILDER: Already done. I think it’s more of a summary of what we’ve talked about, is focus on fixing above the fold layout shifts. And you need to use Google PageSpeed Insights and maybe WebPageTest. And see what’s moving and address those specific problems. Turn on Mediavine CLS Fix. And then wait and watch your origin summary metrics in Google PageSpeed Insights. And watch those numbers trend down.
JENNY GUY: Andrew, where can we get in touch with you if we want to get on a wait list? Where do we go?
ANDREW WILDER: Nerdpress.net. And if you click Get WordPress Help, we’ve got information about all of our support plans there and our pricing. And then if you do go ahead and sign up, I’ll schedule you on the wait list. And what we do is you sign up right now, and then we’ll extend your first renewals. You’re not actually paying for time that you wait. We’ve been very busy. And it takes so much work. We’re only able to onboard four or five sites a week. So that’s part of why we have a wait list because our onboarding is actually about a two week process. And we go through and fix a lot of stuff in your site.
I will say if you want help with only CLS, we’re not your people. We take a holistic view. And we want a long term relationship with our clients to really work with them and partner with them for all of the elements on their site and all the technical stuff. So but shoot me an email either way if you have any questions, firstname.lastname@example.org. And we can go over options.
JENNY GUY: Fantastic. Eric, we’re getting a lot of thank you’s. I think people are feeling better. One thank you from someone who came up with a name for the ad box, which is Ad Parking Lots, which I like a lot better than ad box, Eric what do Mediavine publishers need to do?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Turn on the ad parking lot, obviously. That’s the first thing. So login into your Mediavine dashboard. Under Add Settings you’ll see a little section, Optimize For Core Web Vitals. Turn on Optimize For PageSpeed both desktop and mobile. And turn on Optimize Ads For CLS. That will help you. Those are all three settings. And you’re going to basically need if you want to hit Core Web Vitals. It will be very challenging to hit them without those three options on. Turn them all on if you care about Google Search traffic.
That would be my recommendation. If you have no intention of fixing your Core Web Vitals, I don’t know how you made it to the end of this live to hear this advice. So just turn it on. Everyone here will want to turn those three settings on.
JENNY GUY: And then maybe to fill those blank parking spaces, what do they do?
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Oh yes. Yeah. Got to park a good PSA on there. No question. Opt in for PSAs, again, that’s still under Ad Settings. Yeah. Adopt, Don’t Shop is one of the great ones that we love.
JENNY GUY: Got some really coming up with some big names. But right now, we’ve got Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, we’ve got Operation Gratitude, we’ve got the We Stand With You, which talks about racial justice and equity, we’ve got more things coming in all the time, more beautiful PSAs. What is one that I’m forgetting right now? Oh–
ANDREW WILDER: Texting and driving prevention.
JENNY GUY: Yes. Texting for teen driving. We’ve also got COVID, which is still a thing, even though as much as we’re all over it. So please look into those PSAs. We’re going to have a roundup post coming soon for those. In a couple of weeks, we’ll be back here to discuss our changes to the Mediavine Video Player. We are very excited about it. Andrew, as always it is a pleasure. Ready for your wait list to become longer.
ANDREW WILDER: Oh boy.
JENNY GUY: Thank you guys so much. You guys have a great rest of your day.
ANDREW WILDER: Thank you, everyone.
JENNY GUY: Bye, Everyone. Thank you.
ERIC HOCHBERGER: Bye, guys.
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