The Truth About Pagespeed Insights (or: the obsession with the superfluous obsession)

It seems that since Google introduced the Pagespeed Insights service , every site promoter or website owner feels he must get an extra high of over 90 or even 100 so his site is fast enough for Google.

The truth? Chances are that if your site goes up in a reasonable time, Google does not really care. She did say that she added the speed of site increase as a factor in her algorithm, but it was April 2010, that is, seven years ago! Since then Google has not expanded much on the subject, except that it will begin to consider speed for mobile sites, something that was quite obvious for the simple reason that mobile sites tend to rise more slowly because of the limited resources of cell phones (from the browser itself to the speed of network connection). Learn more about promoting cellular sites .

More than that, according to Google, the recommended threshold for a fast-moving site is 85. More interesting, the tool may return different results after Google makes changes, so even if you can somehow get a perfect score, no one says it’s the score you get when they come in New technologies to use or the tool will become more accurate.

In addition, the tool is very basic in capabilities and often does not show detailed information about bottlenecks and various elements that delay page loading.

In terms of real impact on SEO – as long as the site is not abnormally slow, my experience (from promoting hundreds of sites) has no effect when you get a score of 50, 60, or 90 in this tool. Therefore, there is no need to be bothersome and dwell on each line of code (unless you have time / money available) but to relate to the really important things like switching to a higher quality server ( as I did a little over a year ago ) For dramatic improvements if the site had particularly heavy images. In this article I reviewed the best plugins for WordPress that allow you to reduce images in bulk on the site. Learn more about image optimization by accessing the step-by-step guide I’ve written on this topic .

How long does it take your site to load up?

Another thing to keep in mind is that the tool’s score refers to the relative speed of the site, while Google’s algorithm probably checks the actual speed of the surfers themselves using various tools like Chrome browser or its toolbar to other browsers.

Unfortunately, Google has removed the option to check how fast the site is compared to other sites that were available in its old Webmaster Tools . However, by making some changes to Google Analytics, you can see a report on your site specifically (though not compare it to other sites). This way you can see exactly which pages are going up quickly and which ones are the slowest, and how the loading time affects the behavior of the surfers. (More on that immediately)

Other tools that allow you to see the loading time for each page on the site are Pingdom and GTmetrix, although you should take into account that they are not checking the speed from Israel, but from abroad ( preferably from Europee).

How does load time affect user behavior?

Overall, most surveys of the effect of site load time on users found that the optimal time to increase the site is 3 seconds, with longer load time negatively affecting the bounce rate , the number of pages the visitor is viewing on the site, and the rate of engagement. Also, the impact on e-commerce sites is higher and there is an optimal time two seconds!

But the most surprising statistic is that only 50% of the sites on the Internet manage to reach this goal.

The conclusion is that Pagespeed Insights refers only to the potential of improving the site’s speed, while actual site uptime is what really matters! In fact, Google’s report indicates how much optimization will affect technical scraping data such as server response time, but it can not be deduced how it will affect the real time load time of the site.

Worse still, sometimes Google’s recommendations refer to factors that we have no control over or control over them will be very problematic. For example –

  • Files that sit on Google’s servers and almost everyone uses them (for example, the files you contact them on any site that uses Google Analytics).
  • Extensions we use within our content management system. True, we can always access and optimize the source files, but it will take a lot of time and will not allow us to upgrade the plugin in the future …

What are the best ways to reduce website uptime?

After we realized that not all that is written in Pagespeed Insights is Torah from Sinai, let’s try to understand what is most affecting the time of the site’s rise:

Shrink images

True, when we surf from a stable Internet connection, it does not really matter if the image size is 50 kilobytes or 100 kilobytes, but when it comes to slow connections like cellular connections or busy wireless networks, it can change very much. If you’re using WordPress, I’ve written a post about the best plugins to shrink images .

AMP

AMP is a special format of Google that can significantly shorten the load time of mobile pages, up to 90% more precisely! Without going into too much technical detail, AMP allows you to optimize your own HTML code, JS scripts, and store your site’s cache on Google’s fast servers.

Beyond the acceleration effect, pages that support AMP are marked with a special mark on Google and are therefore more visible.

Server speed

Even the site that has the best technical level optimization will not be fast enough if it uses a server with limited resources. Therefore, it is advisable to use the server of a stable company and not be tempted to offer too cheap. Also, complex sites will often need a virtual server or a dedicated server to maximize their performance.

Finally, this may sound obvious, but some publishers prefer to shop abroad because the offers are more enticing and receive free bonuses (for example, a domain name for a year), but if you have a website that you are targeting for an Israeli audience, it is highly recommended. Any problem with this site will require you to open a manual support card or call technical support abroad and wait a relatively long time for it (some companies even require additional payment for support via telephone).

Site code optimization

Although many people surf through the cellular, there is still a large part of them who surf through stationary or mobile computers. Therefore, it is important to optimize the code, either by reducing redundant parts or by writing more efficient code ( although we have less control over content management systems , you can narrow down, for example, custom templates). The second way is to use shrink software for certain files.

Reduce the number of leads

Aha – References! How many times have you seen a site that makes every link redirect to another page to prevent people from getting links? It turns out that each referral takes a few good seconds, which drastically slows down the site and creates a poor browsing experience (even if the redirect is to an external site). The same goes for a referral from a regular site to a mobile site, something that can be overcome in several different ways.

Cache settings

Properly configuring the site’s cache allows large portions of it not to be updated every time a new user is logged into the user’s browser, so that next time the site will load partially from the user’s computer and not from the server, which will significantly reduce the load time and increase the number of regular users.

Learn more – Site Speed ​​Improvement Guide .

In conclusion

In conclusion, although there is nothing to be taken lightly during the site’s rise and sites that rise very slowly need to be treated ten thousand to stay relevant, linkage to a numerical index that does not directly relate to the actual loading time and improvement of the percentage will not give you a significant improvement and you should use the resources and energy instead For example, by optimizing the site’s promotion or thickening its content.