Introducing and Understanding Interaction to Next Paint (INP): Google’s Latest Update

2 months ago
Interaction to next paint (INP) update

NOTE: Starting from March 12, 2024, Interaction to Next Paint (INP) will replace First Input Delay (FID) as a component of Core Web Vitals.

Google’s Core Web Vitals introduced in early 2020 provided a set of quality updates for web pages. Getting ahead of this update, Google announced an upcoming change in the metric for the Core Web Vitals.

The upcoming update is supposed to calculate a webpage’s quality from a user’s perspective. The article will provide an in-depth insight into this update’s impact on site owners.

The INP metric transitioned from being an experimental metric in May 2022 to the announcement today and will become a stable metric as part of the Core Web Vitals in May 2024.

The upcoming Google update i.e. Interaction to Next Paint or (INP) will come as a replacement for FID or First Input Delay. FID was an apt solution to measure responsiveness but with some limitations. This was a concern behind the need for a new update that could covers this limitation.

As Chrome team started exploring improved options that may address these limitations, they announced Interaction to Next Paint or INP. The new metric was then rolled out to the community for efficiency test.

After a year of continuous testing and feedback gathering with the community, the Chrome decided to roll out Interaction to Next Paint or (INP), the new Core Web Vital Metric for responsiveness. The update will go into effect in March 2024.

What is a Good INP Score?

There are different measuring scores that identify the performance of a page as “good” or “poor”. In order to achieve a good INP score, it is important to achieve good responsiveness of a web page.

In order to ensure your users have a great browsing experience, the page responsiveness must remain below 200 milliseconds. Some added metrics for improved and poor page metrics are as follows:

  • If the Input Neutralization Period (INP) registers below or equal to 200 milliseconds, it indicates excellent responsiveness for your page
  • An INP between 200 and 500 milliseconds signifies that your page’s responsiveness requires enhancement
  • An INP exceeding 500 milliseconds reflects poor responsiveness for your page

Good INP values are 200 milliseconds or less, poor values are greater than 500 milliseconds, and anything in between needs improvement.

What does this Change Entail for Google Search Console?

The Core Web Vitals will introduce a new metric called INP, which will come into effect replacing FID. To assist site owners and developers in adapting to this change and assessing their pages accordingly, Search Console will incorporate INP into the Core Web Vitals report later this year. Consequently, once INP replaces FID in March 2024, the Search Console report will cease displaying FID metrics and transition to using INP as the primary metric for evaluating responsiveness.

How to Prepare for the New Update?

While doing changes is strongly advised to the site owners to achieve good Core Web Vitals for success in Search and to ensure an optimal user experience, it’s important to note that excellent page experience encompasses more than just Core Web Vitals. It includes optimising the entire website to achieve positive metrics within the Core Web Vitals report in Search Console or other third-party reports don’t guarantee higher rankings. It must ensure the following:

  • The site owners must optimise the blog pages as per the recent update.
  • They must evaluate the INP performance with tools like Page Speed Insights as well as Chrome’s User Experience Report
  • Optimising JavaScript and CSS resources are equally important for optimising INP
  • Measuring and monitoring INP continually will also help in this regard

The Bottom Line

Improving a site’s INP is an ongoing process. Fixing the issues resulting in slow interaction will help to improve the INP performance gradually. As soon as you start to find these interactions and optimising them simultaneously, the INP score will get better with each optimisation.

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