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Analysis of the top 100 French websites that offer video content, and their ‘Core Web Vitals’

An analysis of the top 100 French websites that offer video content shows, like many countries, a haphazard performance in terms of Google’s Core Web Vitals. But they can be improved by taking a few key measures. Viously’s Jon Westbrook explains more…

Viously, a video technology for publishers, has analyzed the performance of the top 100 websites in France who use video content*. The company made an analysis specifically on user experience and accessibility – ‘Core Web Vitals‘ or ‘Essential Web Vitals’- as measured by Google Page Speed Insights.

CWV specifically takes into account how quickly the page content loads (Largest Contentful Paint), how stable the page is (Cumulative Layout Shift), and how long visitors are offered interactivity on the page (First Input Delay).

Why is this important?

Core Web Vitals are the set of specific factors that Google considers important in a webpage’s overall user experience. From these stem a number of indicators for a website’s health; audience satisfaction, time spent on the page, retention, growth and user engagement as well as SEO performance.

Publishers that optimize these scores to the highest level see growth in both audience and engagement and in turn, their advertising revenue, forming a publishing virtuous cycle.

Presentation of scores by major categories of sites (scores ranging from 0 to 100; 100 being the maximum score)

Main findings:

  • The results differ substantially between the different categories of sites. In the above chart, the Culture/Leisure category receives the highest scores (77 on desktop and 45 on mobile) whilst several categories lag behind, especially on mobile. For example, (Kitchen/Health has a score of 27 on average, Science/Tech a score of 24, and Automotive/Sport scores 29).
  • Scores also vary widely between devices and across all categories.
  • Desktop continues to lead (recording an average of 67 for all categories) compared to mobile, which is still in need of improvement (scoring only 36 overall). This is despite the fact mobile accounts for the majority of internet traffic.

How publishers can improve their CWV and increase page speed:

  • Firstly, understand it has a huge impact on performance so it must be made a top priority
  • Implement lazy loading: display only the elements needed in the viewport
  • Reduce the size of images: converting images to .webp (instead of .png or .jpeg) to decrease image size by 50% or more
  • Use the native font of the browser
  • Work with a vendor that has the same vision and expertise

Loic Dussart, Co-founder at Viously, says, “Faster websites create a virtuous cycle because they create a better UX, so more time is spent on page. If more time is spent on page, then it provides strong signals for Google SEO and Discover which then drives more audiences. Similarly, the second effect on time spent is that you have more exposure for advertisers, so their performance is rising too.”

Publishers often tend to think that the issues are with their advertising partners. Some problems are, yes, but there are a lot of optimizations that publishers can undertake now for fast and immediate impact.

Loic Dussart, Co-Founder, Viously

What else can be done

  1. There is guidance given at testing sites such as WebPageTest and LightHouse that provide indications on the areas which product and development teams should focus on.
  2. Check the CMP. To keep a CMP optimal and ensure that it is loading quickly requires regular attention. Publishers should check the weight of their CMP and look for alternatives if there are lighter CMP’s available.
  3. Re-assess your technology partners. Which, if any, are adding to the weight of the page and therefore impacting on the publisher’s CoreWebVitals?

* Based on ACPM’s November 2022 ranking: and only sites that offer video content through the use of a video player.

Jon Westbrook
Publisher Development, Viously

Viously is a video technology (“player”) for publishers, and an advertising sales house for agencies and brands. Founded in 2017, the French start-up employs more that 40 people in Lille, Paris and London. The company has already federated around 100 publishers in France and internationally, and works with a large number of agencies, trading desks and brands.

Viously notes a significant gap between the sites equipped with a Viously video player and other sites : the improvement of the score can go up to +37 points on Mobile (depending on the category) and up to +32 points on Desktop.