Lighthouse scores do not directly impact SEO

2 min read
Google lighthouse

How do you measure the performance of your page? Or have you ever thought, if your website is at its best-performing metrics what magic it can create?

 Luckily, we have a tool to help us improve our web page performance and this tool is known as a lighthouse.

Google Lighthouse is a free tool designed to help improve website performance. It’s open-source software so that anyone can use it on any webpage.

The tool audits the accessibility and SEO of your webpage, with a particular focus on core web vitals. It also has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO, and more.

Google Lighthouse can be used to calculate your Core Web Vitals. The tool audits your website based on the average device and connection used by a user. However, you can tell the tool which device and relationship you want it to emulate for your tests. The results of these tests will help you determine which stages of page load need to be optimized in order to provide a good user experience.

But the question is do Lighthouse scores really impact SEO rankings?

No, it doesn’t really affect your SEO rankings, you might be confused about how a tool can be so important and yet do not impact your site’s SEO rankings.

So, to clear the mess out, Google’s John Mueller responded to one such question in the r/SEO forum on Reddit.


A question has been raised regarding low-performance scores in Lighthouse and whether they have a negative impact on organic search rankings.

They also explained that they were able to grow Their lighthouse score from 6 to 21.

To this, John Mueller explained,


“Going from 6 to 21 will probably be noticeable to users, so you have that effect independently of SEO.

Google doesn’t use the X/100 lighthouse score for search, we use the core web vitals separately (lcp, cls, fid). I think you can get those from Lighthouse too, but there are lots of other tools that also show them.

Google uses the values as users see them, which requires a certain amount of traffic first. If this is a smaller site (I don’t know), you might not have enough traffic anyway, so that wouldn’t be a factor (Search Console shows if it has data).”

Source – Search engine journal


Further, he explained,

Core web vitals/page experience doesn’t replace relevance, but it’s also more than just a tie-breaker. For competitive queries, you might see some effects. If someone’s looking for your business name, it’s less important. Check the queries you rank for and guestimate based on that.

Sometimes smaller things can make a big difference, like caching images or serving them (+videos, ads, etc) with predefined dimensions. Don’t give up just because someone says it’s hard :). Sometimes it is hard, sometimes it’s a matter of finding the easy things.

Our 2 cents

Lighthouse scores do not directly impact SEO

The score in Lighthouse is based on lab data, and Google is more concerned with the performance of a site as experienced by actual visitors. Google relies on field data gathered from real visitors rather than Lighthouse scores calculated with lab data.

If a site receives little traffic, Google will not have enough field data to calculate its Core Web Vitals scores.

In such cases, the Lighthouse score becomes even less reliable.

Muller reminds the original poster that the Core Web Vitals/Page Experience update’s ranking boost does not trump relevance.

A site with low rankings can still rank if its content is relevant to a user’s search.

We sure believe that lighthouse is the most important tool you can use when you are starting your SEO journey but depending fully on the Lighthouse score will be foolish. These scores do matter but it doesn’t replace relevance, if your content is worthy and relevant people will find you anyway.

So, if you are relevant then nothing can stop you.