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November 9, 2020

Why Page Speed is So Important to SEO” via Jon Henshaw [PODCAST]

With Google’s introduction of a cell-first index and AMP, web page velocity is now more vital than ever. In this episode of Search Engine Nerds, Jon Henshaw, co-founder of Raven Tools, joins SEJ Executive Editor Kelsey Jones to talk about why web page pace affects search engine marketing.

Jon and Kelsey additionally talk approximately the professionals and cons of AMP and the way a cell-first index ties into setting the user first when it comes to the hunt and internet site enjoy.

Throughout the podcast, Jon shares certain guidelines and sources on how to accelerate your internet site.

Page Speed Optimization on Landing Page of Mobile Computer Screen in Modern Conference Room Closeup View. Toned. Blurred Image. 3-d Rendering.

Why do you think it’s essential to talk approximately page velocity now?
Jon: We’ve reached a point wherein people are making such slow websites that it’s ruining the web revel in for a lot of us. Unless you’re on broadband, or even in case you are on broadband, it would take a bit even as to load. You have things stoning up in front of you. You’ve were given films loading and automobile-playing. It’s simply tremendously annoying as a give up person.

The cause why it’s important right now is not due to the fact give up customers have observed. It’s because Google has observed. They started out going down the street of, “Hey, that is a trouble. We want to change something,” multiple years ago. They have extra these days delivered and are pushing something called AMP which is Accelerated Mobile Pages.

Is web page pace a ranking issue for Google and Bing?
Jon: I don’t recognize if it’s far for Bing. Google is at the record for pronouncing that velocity is a ranking issue for Google. Based on what they’re targeted on right now and based totally on the fact they’ve said publicly that it’s far a rating component, then my answer is yes.

Bing has been a bit extra quiet. They don’t have, I would say, the equal public personalities that are more forthright and are telling all people that, “Yes, this is really something you need to do.” If you had been to invite anyone on the Bing seek crew, they’d be like, “Yes, the pace is crucial.” I’m not sure they might cross so far as some of the people from Google have gone.

Where do you begin while you recognize you want to boom your web page velocity however you don’t sincerely have an amazing concept of what to do first?
Jon: We’re in a really interesting time right now because we’ve net houses that don’t even recognize wherein, to begin with their website. It’s got to the factor wherein it is so loaded with junk that for plenty publishers, the pleasant answer for them proper now seems to be AMP. Of path, Google is truly pushing them to do this. The cause is because AMP basically creates a new file. In different phrases, they can keep their sluggish page if they need, and if they take the content material out of that and convert it into an AMP page, it canonically hyperlinks lower back to the sluggish page but nonetheless has all of the content material.

That seems less difficult on the floor for some of these bigger publishers. The problem with that has to do with the reality that every one the things they did to their web page that made it slow is almost continually tied to marketing, or even forceful advertising wherein they’re pushing matters in the front of you or they’re automobile-playing films.

You don’t get to do this on an AMP article. They can still have to advertise on an AMP web page however they can’t have it to the volume that they had earlier than. That’s one element they’re truly losing out on. The different factor is that presentation of content material is managed and restricting. Then on a pinnacle of that, Google is website hosting the content. To me, it’s a completely awkward and peculiar role to place a publisher in.

Google is pushing AMP heavily. They’re doing this with care, ranking and displaying AMP pages above different non-AMP pages. I’m cautious approximately it. Right now, Google is winning this fight. They’re triumphing it because as I’ve talked to different CEOs who manipulate large houses with lots of site visitors, they’re afraid to do any extraordinary.

That’s the reality. That’s the landscape. For quite a few publishers, they experience like that’s their handiest preference. One of the reasons why I desired to speak about this changed into because I suppose there is another desire.

Fast and gradual development loading bar

One of the things I did more than one weeks in the past is preparing a one-page website known as Make Fast Sites because human beings are like, “What can I do? How can I not have to do that? How can I speed up my web page?” The only manner to do that is to genuinely make a fast web page. These are all inside attained of any web page accessible if they would just cross returned and refactor how they’ve put their sites collectively.

There are 5 things I addressed on Make Fast Sites. The number one factor I’ve been pushing is you need to refactor your code. Many sites will just run libraries of JavaScript that aren’t even used on the majority of the pages, and they need to load even before the relaxation of the page hundreds. If they had been to virtually pass in and take account of, “What is the code I even have on my site? What am I truly the use of it for?” then a number of them are going to find out, “Oh. We’re not certainly using it on most of those pages. Therefore, perhaps I must most effective consist of this JavaScript at the pages it’s used on.”

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Another issue is to load that code at the give up of the page which is suggested quality practices. You cannot make 50 calls to 50 different JavaScript documents and CSS files which all slow down the ability for the page to load. Those things are all very plausible and aren’t that complicated for a respectable webmaster.

The second issue I’ve been pushing people to do is locate device fonts. System fonts are things like the San Francisco font on Mac which seems superb and is made for screens. They don’t need to be loaded. If you have been to as an alternative simply use the machine fonts, name all the device fonts in CSS. It ends up looking awesome on quite lots every device on every operating system.

The third one and this is one I’ve been speaking about for years now mainly once I do shows at meetings, is doing photo optimization. Over the years, each person has gotten lazy thinking about that because we have broadband. We can throw something we want in there because the network can manage it. They’re just throwing on giant picture documents. Not only are they large, they aren’t optimized for delivery. In many cases, you may resize. You can compress and optimize all of these pics. You can even serve extraordinary photographs with unique display screen sizes using standardized HTML.

The fourth one is a really huge one. This is something I were pushing people to do now because it’s easy and it’s free. That is switching to HTTP2 which is an extensively faster protocol for turning in net pages. It requires SSL now so that you knock things out with one stone. You can set it up with Cloudflare which Google is without a doubt an investor in.

Cloudflare has a loose account that you may use with any website. It’s literally only a handful of steps. You can robotically supply your web page SSL. You can serve the whole thing thru HTTP2. It will GZIP compress it. It does the entirety and also you mustn’t pay a cent.

Then the final part is enhancing UX, that is a touch more subjective. It truly has to do with what you could examine whilst you observe why to cease customers and why Google like AMP pages. It gives a better consumer revel in order that people can absolutely read and digest content material as a substitute of having 4 columns in your view and things blinking and popping in the front of you the complete time.

I usually say the ones first four — refactoring code, using device fonts, optimizing pix, and transferring over to HTTP2 and the use of SSL especially — if publishers simply did those four matters, it would dramatically speed up their websites and enhance how they’re bought. Get us toward a factor in which we don’t necessarily need AMP. You could likely see a boost in rankings.

What are some ways to test page velocity?
Jon: The high-quality way I determined or the tried and examined of approaches is the Google Page Speed tool, which now pushes you to their cell tool. I’ve constantly been a sincerely huge fan of GTmetrix due to the fact they combine one-of-a-kind services.

If you’re looking at it from an improvement point of view, in all likelihood the first-rate technical manner to do it’s far to apply the Chrome browser and to apply dev tools due to the fact their dev gear will in reality display you where the slowdowns are and what’s taking see you later.

How do you watch Google’s mobile-first index is going to thing into the importance of web page pace?
Jon: If webmasters and CEOs aren’t drawing near websites and optimizing their websites from a mobile-first attitude, that’s a bigger trouble. In other words, it’s already here. It’s not even like it just came. It’s been here. This desires to happen just from an in simple terms UX attitude and due to the fact there are greater searches achieved on mobile, that’s why you need to be targeted on cellular.

As some distance as Google switching to a cellular-first index, that has extra to do with, “Can it render on cell correctly?” then, “Is it rapid?” I understand Google has publicly stated that they’re looking at speed greater from a cellular angle. There is the assumption that it simplest influences cellular. Maybe on the way to most effective affect the cell index.

Number one, SEOs want to be centered on cell now. They must had been centered on it a long term in the past. Then quantity , pace is pace is pace. The reality that Google is shifting to a cell index, the solution is yes, pace goes to remember. I think pace topics now already. People need to be doing this regardless.

Craig Bowen

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