As many people may think, Google Pagespeed Insights inst a direct ranking factor. It’s meant to be a tool to aid website owners in seeing what(if anything) they needed to adjust to make their sites to be more mobile-friendly, according to Google.
It is from the early Google update in 2018 when it announced that its algorithms would begin to consider the ‘page speed’ of sites as a ranking factor for mobile. It has been a factor for desktops since 2010.
As of 2022, the Google Pagespeed tool runs on Lighthouse, which is an open-source app that analyzes web apps and web pages, collecting modern performance metrics and insights on developer best practices.
With the new Core Web Vitals update, a direct ranking factor, alongside other Page Experience requirements, website owners will need to complement Pagespeed with other tools to measure their Core Web Vitals data.
What is Pagespeed and the Top 3 ways to increase WordPress Pagespeed to 100
If you want to score on the Pagespeed tool, follow the guides below with the most effective ways to improve or update your score.
2. Improve image loading with CDN and apply lazy loading(including background images)
LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) is responsible for 25% of Pagespeed scoring. Making sure your images are loading fast and only when needed is also primordial for Pagespeed scoring.
Make sure to have all background images lazyload when necessary. Preload the LCP image on the page only to improve the LCP. Use preloading of responsive images too.
3. Choose a good server
Having a fast hosting solution will benefit you with all assets loading fast and a fast TTFB(Time to First Byte). If you have good hosting, you may not need to upgrade to a CDN service for your website assets, and therefore not increase spending costs.
Those are effective ways for scoring on Pagespeed Insights. Do a Pagespeed test and find out by clicking on “See calculator” to see what you’re missing out on scoring. The “Lighthouse Scoring Calculator” will open and you will show your respective scoring in each category.
Hire a speed optimization expert(or have a web-perf team) to consult and help you implement changes to improve your performance, and then your Pagespeed insights score. Web performance is a growing topic and has an immense impact on the web as of today, including as a search engine ranking factor.
Core Web Vitals, a new and direct ranking factor
The Page Experience update will make Core Web Vitals alongside all other search signals for page experience, a ranking factor.
The other search signals are Mobile-friendly, Safe-browsing, HTTPS, and No intrusive interstitials.
Google recently added to Search Console the Page Experience update which evaluates page experience metrics for individual URLs on your site and will use them as a ranking signal for a URL in Google Search results on mobile devices. Currently, it is evaluated only for mobile browsers.
If you want to improve your WordPress Core Web Vitals, check our article on it: WordPress Core Web Vitals: Test and how to fix CLS and LCP
Pagespeed vs Lighthouse: What are the differences
Pagespeed Insights is Google’s tool for checking both desktop and mobile device Lighthouse metrics, with field(real users data), and lab data(test data).
Pagespeed uses Lighthouse, with different mobile and network/device conditions. Lighthouse is an open-source app that analyzes web apps and web pages, collecting performance metrics and insights into developer best practices.
Google recently updated the Pagespeed interface and now the Core Web Vitals metrics have more prominence than the score. Google recommends using PSI when you want to measure and optimize your Core Web Vitals, and use Lighthouse(web.dev/measure) when optimizing a broader set of quality signals about a page.
Lighthouse-CI is the version that automates running Lighthouse for every Github commit, viewing the changes, and preventing regressions.
Get your Core Web Vitals optimized