Page load speed is a vital ranking metric. Every mili second becomes more crucial, and data shows that each added second means a lower chance that a visitor will stick on your site.
That is why tools like Google PageSpeed Insights offers you a look into how fast your website loads, and the best ways that could help improve its speed for better user experience. A few months ago, the tool was quite simple and straightforward, with not as much data presented, which meant that you could use a separate website audit tool to get more information.
However, that is now gone, and the new PageSpeed Insights update improves the functionality of the tool, with more data presented, along with Google Lighthouse integration. This new update has been implemented in the past few weeks, and it is worth taking a look to see how much it has improved, but also got much harsher on previously well scoring websites… Lets take a look under the hood!
While the process of assessing page loading speed has apparently not changed, the amount of data that is showns after is now more detailed.
The first set of data listed is Field Data, which lists the average loading speed of a web page over the past 30 days. This data takes into account the data it has pulled from the Chrome User Experience Report. You can view the number of pages that have experienced various loading speeds, giving you a better idea of load speed on different internet connections. Bear in mind that the Chrome User experience report will only provide data for sites above a certain (high) traffic level, so your quiet (is your site bringing visitors in?!) website will not shows user data reports.
Lab Data is data pulled from a Google Lighthouse analysis. This data shows how long it takes for the web page to reach a certain stage in the load process. There are six stages being evaluated, all of which affect page performance and user experience. It’s all about time to ‘Paint’ now!
The First Contentful Paint is the time in which the image or text first appears, and the First Meaningful Paint is when your websites primary page content is actually visible. Speed Index is the amount of time that content takes to populate the page. Time to Interactive and First CPU Idle refers to the amount of time that the page takes to develop clickable buttons and various inputs. Last one, Estimated Input Latency is the amount of time that the page takes to be able to actually respond to user input.
Below this data, you can get to see the process of how the page loads on a browser. This gives you a proper visual idea that will help you see each element of the page loading and how long it takes.
The Diagnostics section is a set of measurements that evaluate your web page performance. This is also where you can see your page audit, allowing you to see the best ways to optimize your loading speed.
For example, here at seo leaders we get to see the audits that passed, allowing us to measure and assess our changes made to improve page loading performance. This then allows us to use the tool so tweak changes as part of an SEO Audit or seo work.
All in all, the updated Google PageSpeed Insights tool has improved which makes it even more useful. With the Google Lighthouse integration, you are sure that the data you’re receiving is correct, allowing you massive scope to correct and optimise your site; if you know what you are doing on a technical level to a high level.
We use the Google PageSpeed tool in conjuction with other tools like GTmetrix and our own private software; this gives us a very good coverage of any potential issues with a site. This new Google page speed update allows us to look behind the curtain even more from Googles perspective and see the key technical issues that the Google algorithms are actually looking at. Now that Google is focused on mobile first indexing, it is vital that a websites mobile site is fully assessed for google friendliness. On that basis, many sites that used to score highly on the Google mobile score, and still score highly on our other tools and our own software, now score low on Google insights mobile but still high on Google insights desktop. Watch this space as we take a closer look under Google hood and check out our findings in the next few weeks!