What should my Page Speed score be?

What should my PageSpeed score be?

Page Speed is scored on a 100 point scale. Google says, “To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have a good score (90-100).”

Unfortunately, how Google places you in that curve isn’t intuitive (unless you are a statistician):

  • The speed of the top 25th percentile sites is scored at 50
  • The speed of the top 8th percentile is scored at 90
  • Three-quarters of the web scores 50 or below. Only 1 in 12 sites scores 90 or better. And yet, 90 or better is what Google wants to see.

Some university instructors become infamous for “grading on a curve.” No matter how well the class does, only one student gets an A, only a few get a B, most will get Cs, and half the class will get a D or just fail. That’s the scenario we’re dealing with here.
In other words, If your site scored well last year, but hasn’t changed much, it might well score worse this year. Because the rest of the web is improving.

Let’s get pragmatic. If your score is…

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If your score is under 50, then you should expect your Google rankings will fall this year.

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If your score is Between 51 and 90, then you should expect to be outranked by faster sites.

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If your score is over 90, then if your content is good, your site will rank well.

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If your score is over 96, then you have achieved nirvana. Very few sites will ever achieve this score.

Page Speed is secondary to Core Web Vitals

It’s non-intuitive, but PageSpeed score is not what the May Google update is looking for! Google has very specifically stated that you must get a “Good” score (green in PageSpeed) for all three metrics:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP),
  • First Input Delay (FID), and
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). (And, yes, I know PageSpeed has issues. Doesn’t matter. LCP, FID, and CLS are ranking factors. We have to deal with it.)

 

These three metrics will be “field data”. Google uses Chrome to measure the speed of sites across the web. That’s the source for the “field data” you see in PageSpeed Insights. Which leads us to…