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Online Marketing

Web Performance: SEO Mythbusting

Myth busting with me today Is Ada Rose, Cannon and you’re working for Samsung. Is that right? What do you do at Samsung? So for Samsung? I’M a developer advocate for the web browser Samsung Internet Samsung Internet is a web browser for Android phones.

You can get it from the Play Store, but not a lot of people have heard about it. So there’s lots. What I do is trying to raise awareness, but more importantly than that, What I’m trying to do is advocate for the web as a platform to try and encourage developers to build for it and to Make sure it lasts long into the future. As a great and healthy platform for people to build stuff with, I love to have you here, because I want to talk to you about the SEO Versus performance and usability on the web, and I think we need to get some stuff out of the way right.

So will you say what is the most important bits and pieces that you would like people to focus on more when building web stuff? So I have a huge passion for ensuring that That the web remains great for everyone around the world, Not just on people using the latest handsets and on desktop computers, Because most people aren’t people are using devices from years ago and low-end sub $ 100 devices, where, Frankly, today, the the modern web is just not even reaching them There’s a fantastic talk from Alex Russell Who goes into the the reality of people with phones that are less than $ 100 And yeah.

That’S a that’s! A fantastic one. You’D have the naive thought that, as time goes on, that phones are getting steadily better and at a bottom of the line phone is Nowadays is just as good at the top of line phone four years ago, when they’re, not It’s just getting wider and wider Wider. The chasm is opening, rather than anything else, What was really awesome. I heard recently Google was doing performance metrics into Into their ratings for search results.

I don’t So was this front-end web performance like render speed, making sure it’s not janky, or is this just Making sure that a page loads really quickly? So it is a little… It’S a it’s a tricky one, because we have so many metrics right. We have Time to first bite. We have time to interactive, We have time to first meaningful paint, and then you have like the frame rates and stuff.. Now Googlebot, which is the tool that basically fetches the data and renders your website for for Search Indexing.

We don’t really interact that much with the page, So we can’t really get like figure out if your scroll is smooth on something like that, but we do get the rendering bits. So we can tell you, when the page becomes responsive to inputs, when the content is ready for the user to consume, So we’re looking at the blend of these kind of modes Yeah of performance. Does that make sense? It does make sense.

So do you have any other qualms with like how SEO influences the daily work of a web developer? So a friend of mine recently rebuilt her site using React. She was very excited about it and and seemed to get quite good to client side performance Once it all loaded. Unfortunately, when she sent it out to her company’s Team to which does SEO analysis, they came back with an answer of. We love your site.

It’S really good, But you’ve basically don’t appear in the rankings, even though she could show them that look right there. It’S on Google Is Google engaging with people who do SEO analysis to ensure that They’re running up-to-date metrics, the similar ones to Google to ensure that even a heavily client-side rendered page, and They can feel confident that it is being measured. Well, So we can’t really Fix what people are doing in terms of what they were tools.

They’re using or something, But what we do want is we want to open this black box of SEO for everyone, So we’re having this conversation web developers We’re having this conversation with Seo and tool makers and we provide a bunch of metrics and tools as well. So we have search console that gives you a bunch of insights and how you’re doing in search so that you’re, not relying on someone else. Basically, sticking the finger in the wind and Reading the stars and stuff, and we also.

We also want to make sure that people are understanding that blanket statements like JavaScript’s going to kill your SEO or you cannot use, React or Angular that that’s not necessarily the best way of doing it. It’S a really comfortable answer, probably mmm. It’S not the right answer. Sometimes All right so at Chrome, Dev Summit. I saw your great talk on SEO in the web. Thank you, And one thing you mentioned was the the rendering for By Googlebot to actually process a JavaScript heavy site could take up to a week to happen.

Does this mean that JavaScript heavy sites are effectively getting penalized in Google Search results right, They’re, not getting penalized, so they are ranking just fine, but the indexing stage is where the problem is because, as you say, we are processing by putting them first into a rendering Queue and then eventually, As we have the resources available, We are rendering them and if the resources take a while to actually render That means that we cannot refresh the content in the index as quickly so News sites might want to look into that.

But then again you have usability issues anyways right, Yes right and that’s because that’s bad for the user. We try to find search results that are good for the users and If a page takes ages to load. That is not a good experience for me. So you want to fix that because of the users, not necessarily just because of the crawler. So if a page is Built using, I know I have a bit of a bias against these JavaScript heavy front-end client-side Rendered pages, because they’re terrible for everyone who doesn’t have like an iPhone or latest Pixel, or something Yeah or a desktop computer.

But anyway, for these sites, if the way they make their money is delivering fresh content daily. Does this mean that the content in the search results may actually be like out of date? For them They might be lagging? Then? Yes, absolutely And I think again, like it’s very important to get the users a great experience, and I don’t think you can do that when you are Heavily relying on client-side rendering, because good Devices might be really old, So yeah one way of working around.

Unless you want to Properly fix this and do hybrid, rendering or server-side rendering One way around of that is to do dynamic, rendering and basically like give us a static rendered version of your page for the crawler So that we can index it quicker. But that’s not making the user usability and user experience problems going. So what do you say it’s generally safer to rely more on on latest HTML and CSS, Knowing that they degrade more gracefully than JavaScript? Yes, Don’t speak! If you look at the the tristar of Technology that we have in the web platform like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, HTML and CSS are just more resilient than JavaScript, and so Relying on JavaScript, too heavily is always going to probably get you into trouble with certain ways And spotty network connections and stuff, So I would say, use polyfills use, progressive enhancement, use what the web platform offers you and use JavaScript responsibly Yeah.

It’S really great to hear, especially from a Googler that, like reducing reliance on JavaScript and Taking advantage of good HTML and CSS, where it’s available can can actually wonders for your SEO. Absolutely Ada. Thank you so much for being here and talking to me about performance and SEO, and I do you have a feeling that SEO and web developers can work together nicer or is there still…? I think, as long as the goals of what people are trying to accomplish are clear and we’re not just like resorting to auguries or looking at the stars to work out what Google is thinking, then it’s going to Enabled developers to actually build sites that make sense And take advantage of that platform, Anything Google can do to ensure that the web works for everyone and not just in the wealthy Western web, then It’ll be really really fantastic.

Fantastic closing words. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you This just in the next episode of SEO. Myth-Busting is going to be about SEO in the age of frameworks, Jason Miller, and I will talk about what that entails. So stay tuned on this blog Subscribe to Google webmasters and see you soon.


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