Interaction to next coloring (INP): everything you need to know

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There is no shortage of acronyms in the field of SEO.

From SEO to FID to FCP (First Contentful Paint) to INP, these are some of the most common acronyms you’ll come across when it comes to page speed.

Google is currently in the process of changing its core web indexes.

He added two new metrics to the mix: INP (interaction to next image) and TTFB (time to first byte).

INP refers to how a page responds to specific user interactions, which are programmed into the overall INP metric, measured with Google Chrome lab data and field data.

TTFB measures the time it takes for the server to transfer the first byte.

TTFB has long been believed to be a driver of significant performance gains, which means SEO professionals should make it a priority as part of their SEO process.

Google only recently decided to introduce TTFB as a new metric so that SEO professionals can measure how their website is performing at the server level.

For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll stick with INP in this round.

What exactly is INP?

INP is a new Core Web Vitals metric designed to represent overall page interaction latency.

It does this by working on a pattern of individual longest interactions that occur when a user visits a page.

If a page has less than 50 total interactions, INP considers the interaction with the absolute worst latency.

The INP metric is a representation of how much time a user should take to interact with the entire page.

This is the direct opposite of FID (First Input Delay).

FID simply measures only the first response to a particular user’s interaction.

Here at SEJ, we reported that PageSpeed ​​​​Insights added this new speed measurement to Google Lighthouse extension for Chrome.

Mechanics of INP

JavaScript is usually the primary signal of any interaction on a page.

There are other types of interactivity, including radio buttons, checkboxes, element

HTML and some others.

INP deals with the following types of interactions:

  • Each click of an interactive element with the mouse.
  • Any touch of an interactive element on any device that includes a touch screen.
  • Pressing a key on a physical or on-screen keyboard.

There is more than one event that could be considered an interaction.

For example, keydown and keyup are both parts of a keystroke.

Each touch interaction could also include an up and down cursor event.

All of this applies to “logical user interactions”.

What are the parts of INP?

Each interaction has several phases: presentation time, processing time, and input delay.

The associated event callback contains the total time required to execute all three phases.

The longest duration of logical user interaction is what will be logged.

What is a good INP value?

Google’s web.dev documentation explains that a good INP value is about 200 milliseconds or less.

It says the following:

An INP below or at 200 milliseconds means your site is responsive.

An INP above 200 milliseconds and below, or at 500 milliseconds, indicates that your page’s responsiveness needs to be improved.

An INP above 500 milliseconds means your site is not responsive.

Google also notes that INP is still experimental and that the guidelines it recommends for this metric are likely to change.

How does INP differ from first input delay?

The main difference between INP and FID is that FID only considers the first interaction on the page.

INP considers all page interactions.

FID only measures the input latency metric and does not take into account event handlers and the time it takes to process.

It also ignores any delays in presenting the next interaction frame.

How to identify INP problems on your website

In order to find INP questions on the site, we must first consider the differences between laboratory and field data.

The only way to find real data about what your users are experiencing is to use data from the field.

Lab tools are items that will not fully interact with the site and therefore typically require manual input while performing measurement tasks.

Otherwise, using an automation tool such as The puppeteer can help you script manual interactions as they occur while using lab tools for testing purposes.

About laboratory data

In the context of this type of testing, lab data is a metric determined by monitoring page loading using a predefined set of conditions, usually tailored to the device and network.

Because these conditions are in a controlled environment, they are known as a laboratory environment, which is where the term “laboratory data” comes from.

About Field Data

Field data, also known as RUM (Real User Monitoring) data, is obtained by monitoring users on the site.

It measures the performance metrics of individual performances, often providing insight into those specific performance metrics.

Field data is based on actual user visits – so it’s something where your site can be represented on actual devices, users’ geographic locations, and that device’s network conditions.

All this together

What’s the deal with FID, INP, field data, and lab data anyway?

Well, field data is available in Chrome tools that report data on Core Web vVtals.

You can get terrain data from the CrUX report (or the Chrome User Experience report).

But the CrUX report is only part of the picture.

That is why it is important to collect data in the field yourself.

Using CrUX alone cannot provide enough actionable insights to make a real difference to your website’s performance.

Google explains that the most important insight into field data is that it’s not just a single number.

This is actually a distribution of numbers.

This means that for a certain sample of users, it is possible that your website will load very slowly.

For other users, your site may load very quickly.

In other words: field data is a collective set of collected data about the performance of all your users.

How can you measure INP?

While measuring INP is most effective when using combined laboratory and field data, there are a few “simplest” ways to measure this Core Web Vitals metric.

You can use a Google Chrome extension called Lighthouse that has a time range mode.

This mode allows you to more easily monitor exactly what is happening while the page is loading, which can further help you troubleshoot INP issues.

You can also use these other lab tools to collect data:

How to improve INP own values?

The best way to do this is to optimize the main thread part.

This means keeping things like third-party fonts to a minimum (ie using only system fonts) and not using too many plugins that load on page load.

Let’s say you have a WordPress site with 15 ad plugins dedicated to serving ads on your page – and you may not necessarily use all of them.

Disabling 90% of these plugins should help improve your INP and make the main thread easier to work with – as this slows down the page load.

Some problems with INP occur because people don’t optimize their main thread enough to make sure things are properly runnable from a Core Web Vitals perspective.

Others can be the result of improperly firing JavaScript files and a lack of attention to how things load on the page – especially with larger images.

These are just some, but not all, of the factors that need to be optimized for better and more efficient INP numbers.

And also better in general Basic online indicators numbers.

Improving your INP is not a happy palette

It’s important to note that improving your INP is not a sure-fire solution to instant SEO success.

Rather, it’s just one of many items that may need to be completed as part of a series of quality changes that can help transform your overall SEO performance.

How do you plan to implement the INP fix into your overall SEO strategy?

More resources:


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