On 10 May 2023, Google announced at Google I/O, Interaction to Next Paint (INP) will replace First Input Delay (FID) as a Core Web Vitals metric starting in March 2024.
What is Interaction to Next Paint (INP)?
INP (Interaction to Next Paint) is a metric that utilizes data from the Event Timing API. It helps website owners and developers to evaluates the responsiveness of a webpage.
INP calculates the maximum time that all or the majority of interactions were under by timing how long it takes a website to react to all user interactions (such as clicking a button or tapping a link, for example).
For instance, if a page had a poor INP value that was over 500ms, this would mean there are one or more interactions on the page that take longer than 500ms to react, which is felt unresponsive. On the other hand, a good INP score of 000-200ms would show that your website is very dynamic and responsive, resulting in a seamless user experience.
INP Impact On Rankings
Martin Splitt, Developer Relations Engineer at Google, wrote: Google reiterated that Core Web Vitals do not guarantee good rankings in Google Search.
According to Splitt:
“Great page experience involves more than Core Web Vitals. Good stats within the Core Web Vitals report in Search Console or third-party Core Web Vitals reports don’t guarantee good rankings.”
Google considers a good page experience as a crucial component of its overall core ranking algorithm. Although Core Web Vitals may not be a direct ranking signal, it is a valuable tool to evaluate whether your website provides a positive user experience.
Google employs additional signals in its fundamental ranking system to evaluate a web page’s quality beyond Core Web Vitals and assess its page experience.
There are numerous factors to page experience, including some listed on this page. Although not all aspects may directly influence ranking algorithms, they typically correlate with search ranking success and are worthy of attention.
What is changing?
In March 2024, Google will replace the FID metric with the INP metric as a component of the Core Web Vitals. To enable website owners to prepare for this change, Google Search Console will introduce the INP metric in the Core Web Vitals report later this year. It will allow website owners to start measuring their new INP scores and make any necessary adjustments to ensure their website continues to provide a good user experience.
Google Search Console report will stop displaying FID metrics When INP replaces FID in March 2024 and utilize INP going ahead.
Why is INP Important?
INP is all about user experience and responsiveness. In the current digital landscape, site speed plays a crucial role. Users demand fast and responsive websites, and any delay in responding to their actions can result in poor user experience, increased bounce rates, and even lost revenue. INP supports lifting back the curtains on discovering interactivity pain points.
The novelty of this metric lies in its distinct emphasis on user interaction, setting it apart from other Core Web Vital metrics. While the other metrics provide a well-rounded overview of page speed, this metric hones in on the factor of user interaction.
INP is especially crucial for websites that heavily rely on user interaction, such as e-commerce websites, gaming websites, and social media platforms. A low INP score shows that the website is responsive and delivers a remarkable user experience.
Also, enhancing your website’s INP score can positively impact your search engine rankings. It is worth noting that Google has declared that, commencing in May 2021, the Core Web Vitals will be utilized as a ranking indicator for search outcomes.
If you have focused a lot of time on Core Web Vitals and the FID score, for better or worse, now you will need to shift your focus from FID to INP. Here you can check a Google guide on how to optimize for INP.