Can Improvements in Metrics Reported by PageSpeed Insights Directly Correlate to Improvements in Search Engine Rankings? If So, How Can One Measure This Impact?


Improvements in metrics reported by PageSpeed Insights can correlate to better search engine rankings, particularly because Google uses page speed as a ranking factor. By improving these metrics, websites not only enhance user experience but potentially improve their SEO. Measuring this impact requires a comprehensive analysis using various tools and methodologies.

Google's Use of Page Speed as a Ranking Factor

Google has confirmed that page speed is a ranking factor for search engines. In 2010, Google announced that site speed would affect desktop searches, and in 2018, the “Speed Update” extended this to mobile searches [Using page speed in mobile search ranking, 2018]. PageSpeed Insights metrics, such as First Contentful Paint (FCP), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), play a role in determining page speed.

How PageSpeed Insights Metrics Affect Search Rankings

The Core Web Vitals, which includes LCP, FID (First Input Delay), and CLS, are part of Google's page experience signals. Websites that perform well on these metrics are likely to rank higher in search results, as they offer a better user experience [Core Web Vitals, 2023].

Example Metrics

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures loading performance. Aim for LCP to occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
  • First Input Delay (FID): Measures interactivity. Aim for an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability. Aim for a CLS score of less than 0.1.

Measuring the Impact of PageSpeed Insights on Search Rankings

Google Search Console

Google Search Console provides valuable insights into how well your pages are performing in search results. It includes data on click-through rates (CTR), user engagement, and how pages are indexed. After making changes to improve PageSpeed Insights metrics, monitor these performance indicators to identify any improvements in rankings.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics helps measure the impact of page speed improvements on user behavior. Metrics such as bounce rate, average session duration, and pages per session can indicate how speed optimizations are affecting user engagement [PageSpeed Insights Integration, 2023].

Rank Tracking Tools

Several SEO tools, such as Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush, allow you to track keyword rankings over time. After implementing speed improvements, use these tools to track your target keywords and monitor if there is a positive shift in their rankings.

A/B Testing

Conduct A/B tests to measure the influence of page speed improvements on conversion rates and engagement metrics. Tools like Google Optimize can help run experiments to see whether faster pages perform better in terms of goal completions.

Specific Examples

Reducing Server Response Time

One common optimization is using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to reduce server response time. A faster server can lead to quicker loading times, potentially boosting page rank. For instance, companies like Akamai and Cloudflare offer CDN services that help in global content delivery [Why You Need a CDN, 2016].

Image Optimization

Large, uncompressed images can slow down page loading times. Using modern image formats like WebP and tools like ImageOptim can compress images without sacrificing quality. This can significantly improve your PageSpeed Insights score and, by extension, user satisfaction [Serve Responsive Images, 2023].


Improvements in PageSpeed Insights metrics can have a positive impact on search engine rankings through enhanced user experience and meeting Google's performance standards. By optimizing these metrics, website owners can improve both the usability and visibility of their sites. Monitoring this impact requires a combination of Google Search Console, Google Analytics, rank tracking tools, and potentially A/B testing to provide a holistic view of performance changes.