EDITORIAL: Core Web Vitals : Will Google Give Breaks for Slow Plugins and Apps?

Core Web Vitals Will Google Give Breaks for Slow Plugins and Apps Blue Interactive Agency

Search Engine Journal posted an article about Google’s willingness to ‘forgive’ some missteps when it comes to core web vitals like loading speed in association with third-party apps. After all, sometimes slow speeds and other issues aren’t the publisher’s fault, but rather the plugin, theme, or third-party app. We’ll take a closer look at the problem and provide our own insight on the matter.

Here is an excerpt from the article: 

Core Web Vitals: Will Google Give Breaks for Slow Plugins and Apps by Roger Montti

Published by Search Engine Journal, May 25, 2021.

“Google’s Martin Splitt answered a question about what to do about third party must-have functionalities in the form of apps and plugins and whether Google would give publishers a Core Web Vitals break since those apps were made by a third party.

Loren Baker asked a question that discussed the issue of publishers who need marketing and sales related functionalities on their sites that tend to slow down the web page and contribute to poor core web vitals scoring.

The example used was of a Shopify site incorporating email list, review and chatbox functionalities contributing to exceedingly bad core web vitals performance.

But the question applied equally to all third party apps, themes and plugins, regardless of platform, including WordPress.

This is an important question because the problem with publishers being judged on Core Web Vitals performance is that the performance issues do not generally rise through the fault of the publishers.

The fault for the poor performance lies with the makers of the apps, themes, and plugins.

So it feels like it’s not fair for Google to give a low score to a site for using a third party plugin or app that delivers a necessary functionality that users or the publishers need.”

Here’s our take on the article:

For publishers struggling to improve core web vitals, the question posed by the article is an important one. Some apps and plugins can substantially slow down websites, but it’s the publisher who pays the price – reduced page rank. 

Sorry publishers, but blaming your plugins and apps isn’t going to cut it. The short answer from Google is that publishers have the option to achieve core web vitals and dump their cumbersome apps and plugins or reap the whirlwind and maintain their page four rank. 

In this case, Google is unforgiving, and the search engine has a point. Core web vitals are in place to promote a good user experience. Apps that slow down the page do not support the level of user experience that Google wants to see in spite of their potentially terrific functionality. Instead, Google recommends finding better apps or pressuring app developers to do better, to create products that don’t detract from core web vitals. 

It’s tough love for sure on Google’s part, but it understands that loading speed is more important to most users than chat functionality, for instance, or a theme. 

Blue Interactive Agency will stay tuned into this topic because it does affect many publishers. You can rely on our team to spotlight the issues that are relevant to your business. Contact us at 954-779-2801 to learn more about our digital marketing solutions.