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.
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.
Give me magic” to “, hey here’s, my user story,.” “. I would like to accomplish three pieces for acceptance criteria..”, You can bridge the gap, Hello and welcome to another episode of SEO. Myth busting With me today is Jamie Alberico Jamie. What do you do in your job? Thank you so much for having me here. I’M a technical SEO with Arrow Electronics. That means that I am embedded with a number of dev teams across a number of projects, And we tried to execute these initiatives, get new features available on the site in an effective and search friendly way, And that means a lot of times.
It’S a list type language They’re, like a lot of misconceptions, coming from both worlds together and clashing here. I don’t think it is the devil. I think it has its benefits. I mean it allows us to build really cool and fantastic stuff on the web and be really responsive to what the user does and wants to do with our applications. And it has moved the web from becoming or being a document platform towards an application platform.
One thing, for instance, is you probably have built single page applications right? Oh, yes, Has there been problems in terms of SEO when they rolled out, I I was pretty lucky. I had a dev team who believed in SEO. That’S good, That’s really good. That was actually my the big moment of my career when I got on the technical SEO And I came and I talked to you one of my new developers for the first time with this very specific problem I was trying to solve and he just paused and Looked up from his keyboard and went “ you’re, not snake oil”, So I think we’re making a lot of progress between SEO and devs.
That is fantastic. It’S a great story, So you might hear a few people in in the community going like ooh. Should we do a single page application? Is that risky And one of the things that a bunch of developers are not aware of, and some SEOs are not necessarily communicating all the time is that we are stateless. So that means with a single page application. You have a bit of an application state right, You know which page you are looking at and you how you transition between these pages.
I click on the main navigation for this particular page and then I click on this product and then I see and everything works, But that might not do the trick because… You need that unique URL. It has to be something we can get right to Not using a hashed URL and also the server needs to be able to serve that right away. If I, if I do this journey and then basically take this URL and copy and paste it into an incognito browser Mm-hmm, I want people to see the content, Not the home page and not a 404 page.
I mean Everyone’s using it, but no one’s talking about it that much It was just like yeah. You just load data in as you go and that’s perfectly fine. We are able to do that. Also, I often get us about how that affects the crawl budget.., Let’s talk So what worries you about that? Well, if we’re using Ajax and me requests, say a product detail page and we’re using Ajax to supplement a lot of pieces of content to it.
Right, Googlebot’s requested one URL and it’s gotten back nine Yeah, because each of those Ajax calls had a unique string right. How do we handle that and does that negatively impact our crawl budget? So I wouldn’t say it negatively impacts your crawl budget, because crawl budget is much more complex than you might see this It’s one of these things that looks like super simple, but there’s more than meets the eye, We’re doing a bunch of caching right, because we expect That content doesn’t necessarily like update too much.
So if we were to version our Ajax calls, yes, those could be cached as those could be cached exactly. Yes and then that’s that’s one way of working around it. If you can do that, if that’s a possibility, The other thing is, you could also consider it not just an issue for The crawl budget, but also an issue for the user right, because, if you’re on a slow network or spotty network connection, It might flake out In the middle – and you were your left foot broken content, That’s not a great user experience.
You want to probably think about, like pre-rendering or hybrid, rendering or server side, rendering Anything in between there And crawl budget is tricky generally, because we are trying to deal with the whole “ host load” situation. So what can your server actually deal with? So we are constantly adjusting that anyway, So it’s like “, oh this affected our crawl budget negatively.”, Not really because we just like had host load issues with your server, So we like adjusted it anyway, so we had balancing issues across your entire content.
We know. Since Google I/O there is actually a gap between our initial parse and our HTML rendering. But I want to know more because Googlebot follows HTML. / HTML5 protocols – Yes, There’s some nuances there. I don’t think I know I didn’t know about Where say: you’ve got an iframe in your head and you’ve got a closing head script right there That ends your head for Googlebot Yeah. All of our lovely meta content, our hreflangs and canonical’s below that have a tendency to exist.
So this is definitely the start of it And as we get the HTML in parallel to extracting the links and then crawling these, we queue them for rendering. So we can’t index before we have rendered it, because a bunch of content needs to be to be rendered. First, In a way that better fits us, if we’ve got a single page application, We now.. Googlebot has the template. They just got to grab the content that fits within there Yeah.
That doesn’t mean that you should always give us a page with a bazillion images right away, because that’s just not going to be good for the users, Because they’re going to have to then…. If you’re on a really old phone. And I have a pretty old phone and you have a pages full of images and transitions and stuff, then you’re like.. “. I can’t use this website.”. So pre-rendering is not always a great idea.
It should be always a mix between Getting as much crucial content and as possible, but then figuring out which content you can load lazily in the end of it. So for SEOs. That would be. You know we. We know that different queries are different. Intents Informational, transactional,…, so elements critical to that intent should really be in that initial rush Exactly and you might consider if, if the intents are wildly different And the content is very, very different, consider making it into multiple pages or at least multiple views if you’re Using a single page Application so that you have an entry point for the crawler to specifically point at it when when it comes to surfacing The search results, So treat it like a hub and let the users branch out from there.
Yes, so that’s where we’d use! Maybe our CSS toggle for visibility. That is a possibility just having different URLs, is always an option, especially with the history API. You can probably in the single page application figure out which route to display and then like have the content separated between different routes or Be a little more dynamic. There.. We support parameters, So even if you use URL parameters.
. Basically expose the state that is relevant to the user in the URL. What other ways does that benefit our users, because our ultimate goal is to make them happy And that’s our ultimate goal too. So like we are, we are the same in terms of what our goal is. We both want to surface useful information to the user as quickly as possible, So The users benefits are especially if you do like hybrid rendering or the server-side, rendering that They get the content really quick.
Normally, if it’s done well, if it’s not overloading their device And they get to jump in right where the meaty bits are right. So if I’m looking for some specific thing – and you give me a URL that I can use to go to that specific thing – I’m right there and I’ll have a great time, because it’s the content that I needed So yeah. If you have performance metrics going up as well, then, even if I’m on a slow phone and a really spotty network, I still get there.
I mean our performance metrics, that’s based on a lot of pieces. We have a stack of technology. That is true. What should SEOs look for in our stack? Where should we try to identify those areas where we could have a better experience for not just Googlebot, but our humans Yeah? So I think a bit that is oftentimes overlooked, not by a SEOs But by businesses and developers, is the content part. So you want to make sure that the content is what the users need and want, and it’s written in a way that helps them.
But on the technology side,… Wait So that blurb at the top people always do where the like. Here’S my hero image and then 500 words about this thing And I’m a human who wants to buy something and there’s so much stuff in the way…. Yeah. Don’T do it At least like have two pages have like the promotional page that you want to do direct marketing towards and then, if I specifically look for your product, just give me your product.
Just let me let me give you money, So I think Talking about performance and all the different metrics, it’s a bit of a blend of all the things like Look at. When does my my content actually arrive, when does my page become responsive? So you look at First content for pain. You look at time to first buy as well less important than the first content full paint. I would say, because it’s fine, if it takes a little longer.
I highly recommend testing testing testing testing. What testing tools would you recommend? So I definitely recommend lighthouse. That’S a great way. Web hint is more More broad approach as well, and you could also use PageSpeed insights or the new SEO audits in lighthouse. Mobile-Friendly test also gives you a bunch of information. Pagespeed insights is look at that full page though Mm-hmm and we had a bit of a bit of a gap.
We have almost this futurist Lighthouse, where we want that time to interactive, and then we have people adopt this methodology. That’S how we got you know so much contact via Ajax, because full page load is fast, but all that content was still coming…. I would recommend lighthouse that gives you like the Filmstrip view of when things are actually ready for the user to work with. So I would highly recommend looking at lighthouse but PageSpeed insight Gives you a good like first first view over and it integrates with lighthouse really nicely now.
Thank you very much and I hope you enjoyed it and see you next time. Have you ever wondered where, on the map, you should put UX and performance when you’re talking about SEO, So have I Let’s find out in the next SEO? Myth-Busting episode,
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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.
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.
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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I don’t know about people say a lot of things out there about how to make your website it stand in the top result, but I don’t really know how to achieve that. You know right, fair enough. That’S a that’s a really good question: how to achieve that and I think that’s a perfect introduction into what we’re trying to do here we’re trying to like bust these myths.
What can I help you with? What are the questions that come to your mind? Okay? So, let’s start with something simple: what it’s a search engine all right, so a search engine is a platform of service or program whatever you want to call it that basically goes through the internet content and tries to catalog it. It works a little bit like in the library right, so you probably go to a library and ask the librarian.
Where can I find a book on topic X right, that’s what you do and then normally it doesn’t take you to basically go through all the books. In the library you just ya, get the right books and that’s what search engines do for you. We find the right content for your purpose, all right, but I went when he’s heard of search engines. I also heard this word called crawling. Is that a thing? That’S a thing so the way that we are doing this or search engines do this is by first going through the entire internet and we have links from one page to the other yeah.
So we are using that we start somewhere some URLs and then basically follow links from there on. So we are basically crawling our way through the Internet, one page by page, more or less, and then once we have, these pages have found them have grabbed the content. From the Internet, we need to understand it. We need to figure out what is this content about and what purpose does it serve? So then that’s the second stage which is indexing.
So then we figure out. So this page is about ice cream. This page is about ice cream in Miami. This page is about marmalade and stuff like that, and then the last step is, if you type something in you don’t type in. I want this particular thing here. You just go like. I need ice cream ice cream online. Midian right, yes, you got it, so we then basically look into our index and find the ones that are serving this purpose.
And then we try to figure out, which is the one that serves these purposes perfectly or best, and then we rank these higher than the others and show you the example, the examples that we found from the index. So how do you know which one is which results are more relevant to a given user? That’S a really good question. We have over 200 signals to do so. So we look at things like the title: the Meta Description, the actual content that you’ve got on your page images links all sorts of things.
Well right, it’s a very complicated question to answer what ranks you best but yeah. We look at the bunch of signals now, if you could give me like. You know, like top three things, that I should consider. What would that be right, so us being developers originally, you probably want me to say. Oh, I use this framework or use that framework. Yeah, that’s not how it works. You have to have really good content, and that means you have content have to have content that serves a purpose for the user.
It’S something that users need and or one optimally they need it and want it. Okay, like ice cream, so if you’re, if your content says where you are, what you do, how you? How you help me with what I’m trying to accomplish? That’S fantastic! If you just have a page that says like we are a fantastic company and we have plenty of products, that’s not serving a purpose, so you want to make sure to serve the purpose of the people who you want to attract and get who you want to Interact with your content, and you want to make sure that you’re using words that I would be using if you use a very specific term for your ice cream, let’s say like smooth cream 5000 or something like that.
I’M not I’m not going to search for that because I don’t know about I’m just going to go like I need ice cream, it’s good to mention it somewhere, so that I know. If I look for that trademark, I find it as well okay, but if I, if I’m exploring ice cream around me, I don’t know what particular ice cream there is, if there’s like a specific brand fantastic, but that’s not what I’m looking for so speak the language That I’m using so you’re you’re saying more.
Like a page, it’s like an exactly you wouldn’t when when we to meet and you have a fantastic product or I have a fantastic four, I wouldn’t go like yeah blurp master 5000. It’S fantastic and you’re like yeah. It doesn’t say it does that do all right, so do that, do an elevator pitch and help us. Okay, put you in contact with the right people, so content is number one priority. Oh, could you mention another two things that are important for this yeah you’re going to love them because they are technical, so the second biggest thing is make sure that you have meta tags that describe your content.
So I have a Meta Description. Okay, because that gives you the possibility to have a little snippet in the search results that let people find out, which of the many results might be the ones that help them the best and have page titles that are specific to the page that you are serving. So don’t have a title for everything. The same title is bad. If you have titles that change with the content you’re showing that is fantastic and frameworks, have ways of doing that so consult the documentation, but there’s definitely something something that helps with the content and the last bit is performance.
Herot right, yeah performance is fantastic. We’Re talking about it constantly, but we’re probably missing out on the fact that this is also good for being discovered online. Our so performance is not just making my website faster, but it’s also making my website more visible to others, correct okay, because we want to make sure that the people clicking on your search was like clicking on your page yeah, getting this content quickly.
So that’s one thing that we want to make sure as well, so we’re it’s one of the many signals that we are looking at, but also it just helps you use this right. They get happier. If I want ice cream really badly, then I get the page quicker, that’s fantastic yeah! So if you want to look at performance, I highly recommend looking into hybrid rendering or server-side rendering again, because that gets the content quicker to the users.
Okay, if there’s rendering shoes with your content. But besides that, I would say definitely look into performance. Optimization get the content quicker, get the first content full paint in there quicker optimize. Your servers optimize your caching strategies make sure that your script doesn’t have to run for, like 60 seconds, to fetch everything that you need. I know yeah, so those are things that you should definitely look into, and I guess performance is something that pretty much everyone in the developer community is looking at.
Certainly yes or they should at least they should. I hope that they do okay, so we already discussed, like all these basics around SEO and search engines and how to position my my website in the top search results. Now the question is: why is it so important for companies to rank like like in the top results right, so you’re you’re a web developer right? Yes, your build stuff on the internet. Yeah.
Do you want people to use it? Certainly, yes, certainly right, so in order to make sure that people can use that they have to know about it, and unless you are probably one of the really big players might not, and even for the big players, if they launch something new, you might not know About it and you’re not looking specifically for products you’re looking for something that serves a purpose for you, okay, I want to know how I built this thing with a framework I want to know where to find the best ice cream and the place I am in.
I want to find the cutest dogs and poppers online so, like I have a purpose, I don’t know who serves this purpose necessarily. So if you build the best ice cream, PWA ever in, let’s say Medellin. Is that how you profess? So if you build the best PWA to order ice cream online in midian, then I don’t. I don’t know about that, especially if I come as a tourist. But if I type that into a search engine like order ice cream in medicine, and then it goes like hey this, this PWA does this trick yeah you want to be the the first or the first couple of because I’m not going to go to page 99 And go like oh yeah.
This might be the perfect thing, because Google and other search engines are trying to like figure out what is the best for this purpose and then show me those up front and then I might pick from those because normally they’re pretty good. I think that covers have all the questions I have fantastic, so you feel like ready to build that, certainly excellent. That is so cool. Thank you. So much for being here.
Thank you, my guests, and I hope that this this helps other developers as well and developers and se owes can be friends. I think I think so yeah I think so. Thank you. Oh, are we still on please stay tuned for another episode of SEO: myth busting. Next time with soos Hinton we’ll talk about what is Googlebot so come back again and read what happens?
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