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The company announced that PageSpeed Insights will now contain all the field data available, even if the data is incomplete and the fields are missing. There is now more field data available in PageSpeed Insights and the API.
PageSpeed Insights has been updated and now reflects the new way in which fields are handled. Prior to this update, PageSpeed Insights displayed the field data if it collected all the data. One of the metrics, First Input Delay (FID), was not recorded on 30% of the web pages.
Field Data in PageSpeed Insights
Page speed metrics are the gathered information collected by Google from Chrome mobile browsers of real users who have opted-in to share anonymized information regarding a website visitor’s actual experience on the website, which is used to calculate the Pagespeed metrics.
Data from laboratories is used by Google Lighthouse, the tool that is used to estimate how fast a website is. Chrome includes Lighthouse as part of its developer tools. When you right-click anywhere on a web page, Chrome Dev Tools opens, and Lighthouse can be used to simulate what PageSpeed metrics look like. This is simply a simulation, an estimate of future values.
Usually, the data that Google uses for ranking purposes is Field Data, and that’s what they collect from real users who download actual pages on mobile devices under real conditions.
Previously unavailable data
According to Google, the PageSpeed Insights API and tool will now only show data that has been collected even if the tool hasn’t collected other data. The data collected by Google would only be reported if it met a certain threshold.
Rick Viscomi points out that Google’s Report on User Experience has a missing data point for 30% of origins that were expected to have the First Input Delay data but only had it for 15% of origins.
Why Does First Input Delay Go Missing?
An indicator of a website’s responsiveness is the first input delay, which measures the time it takes for the web page to reply after an event has been performed, such as clicking a button, tapping a menu, or typing data. Zooming in and out of specific areas of text or images is not regarded as part of the user experience on the web.
In Google’s Web dev page on FID, it is stated that many users do not interact with a web page, and because of this, the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) will not include this metric.
“Not all users will interact with your site every time they visit. And not all interactions are relevant to FID. FID is a metric that can only be measured in the field, as it requires a real user to interact with your page.”