Google released the Lighthouse version 6 update about 2 weeks ago, and appears to have rolled it into the Pagespeed Insights tool on May 27th 2020.
This update basically rewrites the tool, using brand new metrics that should be more useful to visitors on the web. It has removed some old metrics and introduced a couple new ones: https://web.dev/vitals/
Has anything changed?
Some sites might see higher scores, some sites might see lower scores - it depends on how you were performing on these metrics before.
Your website won't suddenly be penalized by the change in scores - everyone's site effectively performs the same against one another as they did before.
What will happen over the next couple of weeks and months, is that sites that respond to these new metrics will see relative improvements and be more competitive.
How do the scores compare?
There's no way to compare the previous tool to the new one - all previous pagespeed scores are now unimportant because the weights have been changed and entirely new metrics are being used:
It's not useful to say "I was at a 76 and I'm now at a 54".
These new metrics and scores are more reflective of the real world user experience.
These new metrics were rolled into search console around May 25th. Most sites we've seen so far score red (slow) on desktop and red/orange (slow/needs improvement) on mobile.
It's going to take tools (such as WP Rocket) time to respond, and for new techniques/recommendations to come out.
Google has formalized an algorithm update to factor "page experience", to be released in 2021. This includes things that were already part of the ranking algorithm, but are likely to become more of a factor.
We're currently implementing updates into the Feast Plugin to resolve as many of these as we can before it officially becomes a factor.
It's going to take performance plugins such as WP Rocket a couple weeks to make changes in response to this. However, not everything will simply by "tweaks" by performance plugins:
- there may be new techniques/features developed to handle these metrics
- there may be new tools/plugins released to address specific issues
- some other changes may require entirely replacing plugins
- there may be some behavioral changes required to adapt to the new metrics
It's too early to tell how these things will be addressed.
What we're seeing issues with
- low quality ad networks (Amazon Ads especially)
- push notifications
- poorly written social plugins
- poorly written newsletter popups
I've you've seen a big drop, please shoot an email to email@example.com with your page that was affected, so that we can update this list.