Field data is the one used for Google for their algorithm ranking. Lab data is data using a simulated device meant to help you identify improvements points.
If you are having Search Console error “Not enough data for this device type”, you can use Cloudflare Web Analytics service to gather Core Web Vitals field data.
The Core Web Vitals data from Cloudflare Web Analytics updates constantly; new data shows shortly after seeing a request from an end-user.
What is Core Web Vitals field data and lab data?
Field data from Core Web Vitals is a historical report about how a particular URL has performed and represents anonymized performance data from users in the real world on a variety of devices and network conditions.
The Core Web Vitals field data is aggregated from live users who have opted-in to syncing their browsing history, have not set up a Sync passphrase, and have usage statistic reporting enabled(taken from a post on Search Console Forum). Field data is the one used for Google ranking.
Core Web Vitals lab data is data based on a simulated load of a page on a single device and a fixed set of network conditions. As a result, the values between lab data and field data may differ.
How to get Core Web Vitals field data with Cloudflare Web Analytics
Cloudflare Web Analytics is free, privacy-first analytics with Core Web vitals analytics for your website that does not require you to change your DNS or use Cloudflare’s proxy. It does not collect or use your visitors’ data according to Cloudflare.
The data in the Search Console (Chrome UX Report) is a 28-day rolling average of aggregated metrics, so you need to wait until you can see changes reflected in the data.
Your website also may not be able to gather enough data to Google show its Core Web Vitals report even after the 28-day average on Search Console and it will show the error “Not enough data for this device type”. Add more traffic or give it more time to field data to get gathered from your website.
With Cloudflare Web Analytics, you get data instantly no matter what your website visitors count, and you can adjust it Core Web Vitals according to the errors reported. You can filter by country, and analyze if a change is pertinent.
How to set up Cloudflare Web Analytics
To get started with Cloudflare Web Analytics follow the steps:
- Visit Get started with Web Analytics.
- Enter your Email address and password.
- Click Create Account.
- Enter your website’s hostname and click Next.
- Copy the JS Snippet and add it to any of your website’s HTML pages before the ending body tag.
- Click Next.
- Wait for the redirect to the Web Analytics page or click View Analytics. It may take a few minutes for Web Analytics data to appear.
Tutorial from cloudflare.com
Repeat steps 4-7 for all of the websites you want to track with Web Analytics. Cloudflare enforces a soft limit of 10 sites per account, but that can be adjusted by contacting Cloudflare support.
Once enabled, find and copy the JS Snippet on the left menu of the Web Analytics page anytime.
Why should you use Cloudflare Web Analytics to measure Core Web Vitals?
RUM (Real User Measurement) data is more accurate than any synthetic tool, such as Pagespeed(lab data) or Webpagetest. Using Cloudflare Web Analytics will get you a real sense of your user experience and instant feedback of your Core Web Vitals.
You can also use RUM tools such as Google’s Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX), but it will take at least 28 days for the data to be refreshed.
In a recent post, a search advocate at Google also confirmed that Google doesn’t take “lab data” for Core Web vitals, therefore, you should always strive for field data.
Cloudflare Web Analytics features
Cloudflare Web Analytics lets you view your website’s page views, visits, page load time, and Core Web Vitals by switching between views on the graph. You can also filter data by various dimensions, all this is offered for free on a top-notch UI/UX.
Cloudflare Web Analytics does not require you to change your DNS or use Cloudflare’s proxy.
Core Web Vitals is only supported in Chromium browsers, but Cloudflare says it has plans to support Safari and Firefox as soon as possible.
Images from cloudflare.com
Measuring Core Web Vitals field data with Ahrefs site audit
Ahrefs offers Core Web Vitals field data for free in their Ahrefs Webmaster Tools product. It is necessary to verify ownership of your website to use it.
The performance audit shows both CRux data(used by Google for ranking) and Lighthouse data.
The tool is useful for identifying performance degrading in the website.