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Google Might Replace Its First Input Delay Metric

how to check website SEO scores online

SEO experts and site owners often check website SEO scores online, particularly their Core Web Vitals (CWVs) score. But with Google potentially planning to replace one of its CWV metrics, the First Input Delay (FID), the SEO community should start preparing for achieving a high website SEO score with the new metric.

In a recently published HTTPArchive Almanac article about using content management systems (CMS) worldwide, the publisher announced that all platforms had great FID scores and that Google is developing a new metric that could replace FID.

The HTTPArchive has published many papers on the current state of the web every year. The Head of Web Performance Wix engineer and a Backend Group Manager wrote Chapter 16, which discusses the use of CMS. Many Googlers also reviewed and analysed the said paper.

The article made an interesting argument about how the FID metric has lost its significance and how Google worked on a new metric to replace it.

First Input Delay

FID is one of the user experience metrics in the Core Web Vitals that shows if the web pages perform well for users. The FID metric measures how quickly a browser can respond to user interaction with a website; for instance, how long it takes for a website to respond after clicking one of the site’s buttons or interactive elements. The problem with FID is that all major CMS, such as Wix, Drupal, WordPress, and others, already have lightning-quick FID scores.

All Platforms Have High FID Scores

Most CMS, according to the article, performed exceptionally well in FID by scoring 100 per cent. Even platforms that don’t score as highly have relatively good scores that lag by only 5 percentage points.

The problem with FID is that it has become a competition where everyone gets a medal. If almost all websites excel, then the indicator is not as significant anymore since fixing user experience has already been achieved. Not only that, but the fact that all platforms easily excel in this metric has raised questions about its strictness.

The Chrome team is currently working on a new metric for measuring response latency and responsiveness. According to the article, Google has recently made announcements to create a better responsiveness metric.

Full Event Duration vs Input Response Delay

The article linked to another recently published Google article posted on Web.dev titled” “Feedback Wanted: An experimental responsiveness metric”.

What’s significant about this post is that it mentions Google’s new input delay metric. Knowing more about this metric might help website SEO experts get a head start on things to come.

The key thing to remember about this new metric is that it isn’t confined to single interactions. It measures clusters of individual actions that make up a user action.

Although Google’s Web.dev article was published in November 2021, this new metric has been a work in progress for some time now. In another Web.dev article in June 2021, there were goals outlined for the new metric:

  • consider all user inputs’ responsiveness
  • capture the full duration of each event instead of just focusing on the delay
  • create a cluster score for all interactions that happen on a web page throughout its full lifecycle
  • group together events that occurred as part of the same logical user interaction

The article on the Web.dev site explains that the aim is to develop a better measuring system for user experience. It specifically said that the new metric would provide a more holistic picture of a page’s overall responsiveness through its lifetime. Google plans to expand the new metric to get the full event duration, from initial user input until the next frame is painted after running all event handlers.

The search engine company also plans to determine interactions instead of individual events. Interactions are defined as a group of events dispatched as part of the same logical user gesture; for instance, click, pointerdown, pointerup, etc.

The event duration is defined as the interval between when the event hardware occurs and when the next paint takes place after the event has been handled. However, suppose the incident does not produce any updates. In that case, the duration will be measured from the moment of event hardware to the time Google is confident that it will not cause any additional issues.

Interaction Latency Metric

According to Web.dev, Google’s engineers consider two methods for measuring interaction latency: Total Event Duration and Maximum Event Duration. The total event duration refers to the sum of all the event durations. On the other hand, the maximum event duration is an interaction consisting of multiple events of varying durations. This metric is based on the largest duration out of the group.

Replacing FID

FID may be incorporated into Core Web Vitals, but what good does it do if every site gets a perfect score? As a result, it’s not surprising to think that FID will be phased out soon. The Chrome team is currently collecting feedback on various methods for measuring interaction latency. Therefore, now is the best time for the SEO community to express their opinions about the matter.

The Importance of Google Core Web Vitals

Google Core Web Vitals are important because they assist web developers in delivering a fantastic user experience. Consequently, customers are more pleased, more likely to come back, and more willing to recommend the website to others. Users will be hesitant to return if pages are sluggish, unresponsive, or cluttered with pop-ups.

An SEO should consider how their activities might harm Google’s reputation and revenue. A user may become irritated with Google if they repeatedly click on links in the results pages that deliver a poor experience. Eventually, they would abandon Google for other search engines, making less ad money for Google.

Position1SEO Can Help You Improve Your Core Web Vitals Score

Position1SEO is the UK’s top SEO agency. Our team of experts can check website SEO scores online, including CWV scores, and work on helping you improve them. We will also help boost your search rankings and site traffic, convert traffic into sales, and help you achieve higher profits. By using the latest white-hat tactics and leaving no stone unturned in our approach, we can help you get an edge over competitors in the digital world.

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