Earlier this week, Google began sending out email notices through Google Search Console to those site owners whose INP scores were not up to snuff. These notices had the subject line, “Core Web Vitals INP issues detected on your site.”
INP replacing FID. As a reminder, Google told us a couple of months ago that INP will replace FID in March 2024. Then a few weeks ago, Google released a new report in Search Console to communicate INP scores to site owners, so they can prepare before the March 2024 deadline.
INP (Interaction to Next Paint) is a new metric that will replace FID (First Input Delay) as a Core Web Vital in March 2024. “Until then, INP is not a part of Core Web Vitals. Search Console reports INP data to help you prepare,” Google explained.
Email notices. Now, Google is sending out email notices to site owners that have scores below the threshold of a good INP score. The emails list out the site domain that has the issue, so if you have multiple verified sites in Search Console that have poor INP scores, it may list multiple site URLs in the email.
Here is a sample email:
Concern and confusion. These emails, as you’d expect, is causing concern, panic and confusion. If you have been on social the past couple of days, you will see countless posts from site owners freaked out about what to do to “fix” their Google issues. It almost all goes back to this email about the INP scores.
Mordy Oberstein and Nati Elimelech put it well in these set of tweets.
Don’t be concerned. First off, nothing is changing today, in fact, you have several months to improve your INP score, if you wish. Plus, this is one score in all of the core web vitals scores, which is one piece of the page experience aspect of Google Search. And page experience is also one small piece of the overall search ranking algorithm. Keep in mind, relevance is the most important factor, not how great your INP score is.
As I said before in my previous coverage of this INP change, Google reiterated that Core Web Vitals do not guarantee good rankings in Google Search, wrote Martin Splitt, Developer Relations Engineer at Google.
- “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,” according to Splitt.
A good page experience is part of Google’s overall core ranking system. Core Web Vitals – while maybe not a direct ranking signal – is one way you can try to understand whether you’re achieving a good page experience.
However, Google uses other signals as part of its core ranking system to determine what makes a good page experience outside of Core Web Vitals.
“There are many aspects to page experience, including some listed on this page,” Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, told Search Engine Land. “While not all aspects may be directly used to inform ranking, they do generally align with success in search ranking and are worth attention.”
Why we care. Sure, if you have time and resources between now and March, you can ask your dev team to work on improving your INP score. There are small technical changes a solid developer can tackle in a short period of time to improve INP and your other core web vitals. But I would not panic and stress over this change, get to it when you can and more importantly, keep focusing on providing great and helpful content to your users.