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Why do Core Web Vitals and Page Speed Insights show different data?

Man looking at reports

Why do Core Web Vitals and Page Speed Insights show different data?

If you have checked your website’s page speed in Google Page Speed Insights and have also had a look at the Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console, you have probably noticed a difference in the data, but why?

In a recent SEO office-hours video, Google’s John Mueller answers this question, and why it makes sense for the data in both to be different.

Mueller continues to say that with Page Speed Insights, the tool gives you a score between 0 and 100, which is based on assumptions. These take into consideration that some users will experience faster loading times than others.

The Core Web Vitals Report, on the other hand, uses three different numbers – once each for speed, responsiveness, and interactivity – and this is different to Page Speed Insights which is based on a single number.

The way the data in the two reports is calculated is also different, with the Core Web Vitals report showing field data (data which is from the experience of actual users on a website) and Page Speed Insights showing lab data (which Google systems calculate on assumptions and how the system thinks the website will perform for the average user on the site).

To conclude, both metrics have purposes of their own, with the Core Web Vitals report data coming from actual users and being used for ranking websites, while the Page Speed Insights data is for more of search engine optimisers (SEOs) and developers to analyse and debug any issues with a website to help improve its speed.

At Engage Web, we can develop an effective SEO strategy to help you get more visitors and increase sales, leads, enquiries and traffic. To find out more, have a chat with our team today.

Jonathon Roberts

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