Google Interaction to Next Paint coming to Core Web Vitals this Tuesday


This Tuesday, Google will roll out a change to the Core Web Vital metrics where it will replace First Input Delay (FID) with Interaction to Next Paint (INP) as a Core Web Vitals metric. This March 12th you will see FID go away and INP take its place.

Please know that this is unrelated to the ongoing March 2024 Google Core update, core updates and Core Web Vitals have zero to do with each other.

On March 12, 2024 Google will replace First Input Delay (FID) with Interaction to Next Paint (INP) as a Core Web Vitals metric. The news of INP replacing FID is not new, and we knew it was coming, Google prepared us, and this Tuesday it will happen.

What is Interaction to Next Paint? As a reminder, INP is a metric that uses data from the Event Timing API. It assesses the responsiveness of a webpage. An interaction that causes a page to become unresponsive results in a poor user experience, Google said. INP observes the latency of all interactions a user has made with the page and reports a single value which all (or nearly all) interactions were below.

Google provided the following example of what poor versus good responsiveness looks like:

Inp Visual

On the left, long tasks block the accordion from opening. This causes the user to click multiple times, thinking the experience is broken. When the main thread catches up, it processes the delayed inputs, resulting in the accordion opening and closing unexpectedly.

What is changing. Google will replace the FID metric with the INP metric as part of the Core Web Vitals on March, 12 2024. Google Search Console will include INP in the Core Web Vitals report later this year so you can start measuring your new INP scores.

When INP replaces FID in March, the Google Search Console report will stop showing FID metrics and use INP going forward.

Inp Timeline 800x270
Timeline for INP change

Why we care. A lot of SEOs have focused a lot of time on Core Web Vitals and the FID score, for better or worse. Now those same SEOs will likely shift their focus from FID to INP. Here is a guide from Google on how to optimize for INP. We had a while to prepare for this change, Google even added the new INP reports to Search Console mid-last year.

Overall, I still recommend you don’t get bogged down in these metrics. Even Google says they’re only one aspect to consider when looking to improve your site’s page experience.

The fact that Google released the March 2024 core update during the same time that this Core Web Vitals changes is rolling out will confuse a lot of SEOs and site owners. In short, if you see a drastic ranking drop during the next few weeks, it is likely related to the Core update or Spam update and unrelated to the Core Web Vitals metric change.

In short, you know when browsing your website, whether it is responsive and fast. You don’t always need a third-party tool to tell you that. So make excellent sites for your users but don’t obsess about these scores. So take a look at your INP score and see if there are quick improvements you may want to make, or not.



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