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Online Marketing

Site Speed: What SEOs Need to Know #AskGoogleWebmasters

We’re going to be answering questions on the topic of speed that were submitted with the hashtag ask Google webmasters on Twitter. So, let’s start off with a question from row Heat: what is the ideal page speed of any content for better ranking on search? Oh you’re, asking me that question okay.

So basically we are categorizing pages, more or less as like, really good and pretty bad. So, there’s not really like a threshold in between it’s just like we are more or less roughly categorizing the speed experience for users and how are we actually doing that? Where do we get the data from yeah? That’s that’s important, so we mostly get data from two places. On the one hand, we try to calculate a theoretical speed of a page using lab data, and then we also use real field data from users.

Who’ve actually tried to use those pages and that field data is similar to the chrome user. Experience report, data cool, so we are having like hypothetical data and practical data, so we don’t really have a threshold to give away. But basically the recommendation, I would say, is just make sites fast for users. That’s what it boils down to that sounds good yeah. The next question comes from Olga and Olga is wondering if a website’s mobile speed is best looked at using the test, my site tool, the GT, metrics tool or PageSpeed insights.

Hmm, that’s a really good question. What’s the most important tool for SEO, we have multiple tools that measure multiple things and I can understand that that can be kind of confusing at times in general. These tools measure things in slightly different ways, so what I usually recommend is taking these different tools. Getting the data that you get back from that and using them to discover kind of low-hanging fruit on your webpages, so things that you can easily improve to really give your page a speed bump how’s that sound.

No, that sounds pretty good and also the tools differently. Like aimed right some some of these tools like test my side is pretty high level, so, like everyone understands roughly, what’s going on there, whereas GT matrix is a lot more technical and PageSpeed insights. I think it’s kind of in the middle of that so depending on who you are catering to who you’re trying to give this report to to get things fixed, you might use one or the other, so figuring out what is the low-hanging fruit and using the tool That gives you the best insight into that for the audience that you’re trying to convince.

Is it a sea level? Is it a other marketer? Is it someone from the tech side like this is a developer? Then you probably take a different tool. Next question comes from owner owner is asking: I am testing an almost-empty page on dev tool audits and it usually gives me minimum results which are 0.8 milliseconds for everything and 20 milliseconds for fij what it’s fed. First, input delay. First, input delay, of course, but sometimes it gives worse results for TTI, FCI and Phil.

Okay, let’s talk about these metrics fit. We have covered first input delay. Tti is time to interactive. That’s when you can first interact with the page and FCI is first cpu idle, which means that there’s no more JavaScript work or other work that needs to be done by the CPU. So it’s the same page same code, different numbers. Why would that happen? Well, first things: first, these measurements aren’t perfect right.

So if it’s between 0.8 milliseconds and 20 milliseconds 20 milliseconds is a lot more than 0.8, but it’s still quite a short amount of time. If you think about it, you roughly have 10 milliseconds for a single frame to draw so yeah 20 milliseconds isn’t too bad, so you will always see some some basically noise in that measurement and also don’t get too hung up on these metrics. Specifically, if you see that there’s a perceptible problem and there’s actually like an issue that your site stays like working on the main thread and doing CPU work for a minute or 20 seconds, that’s what you want to investigate if it’s 20 milliseconds, it’s probably fine! Our next question comes from Drew and drew asks us what is or are best metric or metrics to look at when you want to decide if a page is fast or slow, and why or why not? Would you just look at things like FCP, which is first content full pained FMP, which is first meaningful paint, instead of just the scores that these tools give you Wow? I don’t know, Martin.

You need to tell me some more about that right. Okay, so I guess the question here really boils down to what’s the metric that you should look at and that’s a really tricky one, because I guess it depends on the side. It’s the typical. It depends answer if you have just a website where people are reading. Your content and not interacting as much then I think, first meaningful paint or first content fool paint, it’s probably more important than first interactive delay or, first sorry, first input delay or time to interactive.

But if it’s a really interactive web application, where you want people to immediately jump in and do something, then probably that metric is more important, so don’t try to break it down, and that brings us to the scores. The problem in this course is they’re. Oversimplifying things. Aren’t they yeah, I it sounds like it. I mean all of these measurements sound like they’re, they’re, measuring different things and ultimately trying to understand what what a user would perceive when they access the page, so their score might be.

I guess a simple way to look at it overall, but it’s probably not all of the details that you need. It just gives you a ballpark. Really it’s like how fast is this page 5? What does that mean? It doesn’t really convey me, doesn’t it so, I would say like use that, to figure out how you’re roughly doing and then use the specific insights, the different tools give you to figure out where you have to improve or what isn’t going so well.

Wow yeah sounds like speed, is a tricky topic and you kind of have to know what’s what you’re measuring so that you can take action on the right things yep. So would that kind of explain why there is no simple number that Google is just giving yeah? So that definitely explains it because then, if you think about it, you can’t break down speed into one simple number. It is a bunch of factors if I’m painting really quickly, but my app is all about interaction.

It’s a messenger, so I show everything I show the message history, but if I try to answer the message that I just got and it takes me 20 seconds until I actually can tap on the input field and start typing, is that fast not really, but is It so important that I can use the contact form on the bottom of a blog post within the first 10 seconds. Not necessarily is it so? What how would you put that into a number you don’t? So I guess it’s hard speed.

Speed sounds hard. What what do you think will this get easier? I guess it will get easier, but it will never go to a point where you just have a score that you optimize for and be done with it right. It is such a broad topic that it’s really hard to break that down into like one number. Okay, so you imagine, the more advanced people will continue to focus on the the kinda, metrics and counting milliseconds and others will look at kind of a bigger overview picture.

I guess so, and together will try to find ways to improve the speed of the pages overall. I think browsers also doing a lot of work to make things faster in general and easier to understand, but, generally speaking, you will still need to go and do the work of figuring out. What matters to you, your audience and your website right is it interactive. Is it content? Full panes depends that sounds cool yeah.

So I expect more questions on speed on the hash tag. Ask Google webmasters and, as we get those questions, we’ll ask an expert like Marcin, who knows all of these three-letter abbreviations and who can help us figure out, which ones are the right ones. So thanks for submitting all of these questions and hopefully see you again on one of the future episode. Thank you very much for having me and thanks for all the questions.


 

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