Last month, Google updated its PageSpeed Metrics with two new Lighthouse speed metrics. These new tools were labeled as “experimental.” Because of this, it means that it could be adjusted or changed in the future. Google Lighthouse is a free tool that provides powerful insights to help improve your website. By generating a Lighthouse report, you can assess any web page’s page experience and access valuable tips to improve its performance. PageSpeed Metrics uses Lighthouse to help improve user experience.
In this blog, we will give you the rundown of what these metrics are and how you can use them to better your PageSpeed game, so you can slam dunk at your next meeting. If you want to stay up to date on all things marketing, make sure to scroll down to the end to sign up for our weekly email newsletter.
What are the updates to Google Lighthouse?
There are two updates that they added to Google Lighthouse. In Google’s Release Notes, these were added on May 10, 2022, for users to check out. Here they are:
- Interaction to Next Paint (INP)
- Time to First Byte (TTFB)
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s take a deeper look at the two new metrics and exactly what they do.
Interaction to Next Paint (INP)
According to Google’s web.dev, “INP is a metric that aims to represent a page’s overall interaction latency by selecting one of the single longest interactions that occur when a user visits a page.” Basically, Google is now giving users a clearly defined metric for testing how long it takes for someone to interact with your entire page. This is the sibling to First Input Delay which measures how long it takes for the page to respond to the first interaction by a site visitor.
An example of bad responsiveness is if you were on a shopping site and the user clicks on an image to blow it up, and there’s a delay as the computer is downloading the larger file. Good responsiveness is when there is no delay between these interactions.
Time to First Byte (TTFB)
Similar in nature to INP, TTFB is also a metric used to test the latency or the speed of your website. TTFB measures how fast the server responds to a request for a resource. In the words of Google’s web.dev, “TTFB is a metric that measures the time between the request for a resource and when the first byte of a response begins to arrive.” The point is that you now have a metric that will isolate a single factor, server responsiveness, amongst many that could be slowing down your website.
This is best used for diagnostic purposes. If you are looking to improve your Core Web Vitals, then Google is making it really easy, especially if this could be that one thing slowing everything down.
How do I find and use new PageSpeed Insights tools?
These two new metrics are in the same place as the other ones, in the PageSpeed Insights tool. Be aware that data will not automatically be there for you, as people are still opting to allow PageSpeed data to be sent to Google. This is what your interface will look like:
Image from Search Engine Journal
Chrome also has a Lighthouse Extension for you to use as well. This way you don’t have to check your CWVs one page at a time. Instead, as you’re scrolling through your website, it will flash red or green depending on how well that page is doing in your metrics.
Third-party metrics for Lighthouse also support the use of TTFB and INP. This goes hand in hand with the UI changes we discussed in an earlier section.
So, what’s the deal with PageSpeed metric’s new updates?
These two new tools are here to help your website run more smoothly with less latency. Keeping up to date with the health of your website ensures those Core Web Values never slip, and your users are having the best experience possible. After all, having your visitors wait too long for things to load is a good way to make those bounce rates skyrocket. Nobody wants that.
Why this is so important is that Google now bases desktop search results on a site’s desktop experience and mobile search results on a site’s mobile experience. The search engine calculus experience scores are based on three metrics (LCP, FID, and CLS), and INP is newly added as part of that umbrella. Basically, INP is important because it could change how you show up in Google search results.
How are you implementing these new tools? Have they been working for you? If you found this content to be educational, make sure to scroll down and sign up for our weekly email newsletter. While you’re at it, make sure to subscribe to us on YouTube.