Google: Non-indexed pages can affect Core Web Vitals


During the last webmaster hangout, Google employee John Mueller said that when evaluating Core Web Vitals on a site, a search engine can take into account pages that are not indexed.

A question for Mueller was about using aggregated data to measure Core Web Vitals. Google takes groups of pages, analyzes them, and then uses this data to calculate CWVs, which will reflect the situation throughout the site.

The author of the question asked how Google selects groups of pages that are then used to calculate Core Web Vitals, and how it includes non-indexed pages in them.
“How do you know this is a group if these pages are not indexed and you have no context? Or are you looking at the URL path? ”.

Why Google considers non-indexed pages when calculating Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are designed to measure user experience, Mueller said, and non-indexable pages are still available to users on the site, so they should be included in the overall score.

However, he noted that he does not know exactly how this grouping is carried out, and whether this approach is used in Search Console. He also added that sometimes it is difficult for Google to understand that a page should not be indexed. Therefore, it is important to find a balance here.

Is it possible to exclude pages from the Core Web Vitals score
Next, one of the hangouts asked if it was possible to exclude pages from the Core Web Vitals score. Müller replied that at the moment he does not have a “good answer” to this question.

The meeting participants asked if there will be answers in the future. Mueller said that he does not have all the information about the group, so he hesitates to make any assumptions.

Data for assessing Core Web Vitals are limited
Concluding the discussion on this topic, Mueller added that Google does not have a lot of aggregated data for each site. Therefore, for some sites, the search engine is forced to use only a few data points.

In cases where Google uses a limited amount of data on a site, grouping pages by URL structure may not affect which page is selected.

More information on URL grouping may come later, Mueller said. At the same time, he assured that there would be no 100% opportunity to exclude individual pages from the Core Web Vitals assessment.

You can listen to the discussion in the video:

As a reminder, the launch of the new Page Experience ranking signal, which also includes Core Web Vitals metrics, is scheduled for May 2021.