So you have run the Google Page Insights tool on your site and its telling you that “your beautifully crafted design scores 6/100” in Googles Opinion.
What to do ?
Lots of their suggestions are good advice but I have a bone to pick on some.
Content above the fold : In a mobile world every one scrolls immediately. In fact its instinct. Forcing your most important content above the fold might hurt the user experience but hey Google think otherwise. I can see why its relevant on desktop maybe but is it s reason to de-rank a site because they have a beautiful banner that a robot does not care about.
Minimizing images : If you follow their guidelines you will see that retina screens have blurry images. How is this optimal. This action is so as to make your site load faster. Retina screens require detailed hi res images.
Server Response : They lump everything in here. Time to First Byte, Domain resolving and htaccess processing. Now if you do 301 redirects from old to new pages as Google wants you to do then your .htaccess file could be big. So when can I remove these 301’s baring in mind the old link is in the wild where I have no control over it. Its a catch 22, ditch the 301’s and cheese of visitors from other sites or leave them there and make Google happy !
The speed of a loading site matters to google because it means they can get it into their database faster. Generally customers like a fast site. But are they worried about a load time of 2.4 versus 2.6 seconds ? Google is counting every millisecond,
Look at the page speed of your competitors if its faster then do some work. If is under 2.5 secs then your are good. If you can get it to under 1 sec then its gold, but prepare to pay for a dedicated server packed with memory, SD Drives and bag loads of CPU’s. Your hosting bill is about to increase x 30 at least.
Minimizing Java : This can some times break functionality because of the way it does it. Does having all the Java in 1 line of code and no spaces improve preformance if its nicely formatted. Are google penalizing for white space ?
“Page Speed is a growing overhead for businesses”
Hours are being spent “optimizing” for google page insights will result in better SERP’s. Page Speed is a growing overhead for businesses looking to get leads from search results.
Of course you can ignore all their “advice” and suffer the SEO consequence.
Even writing this article is a risk to this sites ranking I guess. It might cheese off Google. It might have too much content, too little, not the correct Meta description, not the right alt tag, it might get linked to by hackers yada yada yada……
Conclusion and Notes.
Our advice : Write unique well formed content that relates to your customers who are reading your site, it has always stood the test of time.
When your page ranks no 1 don’t mess with it because it dropped to no 3. It will naturally resurface unless you have been black hatting and then there is a good reason you are no 3 and dropping like a stone.
Helping google to index your site faster will help your ranking and may compromise the look feel.
BTW at time of writing. www.rte.ie scored 58/100 from google and the www.irishtimes.com scored 69/100. Google contends both these sites are poor renders !
If you are running wordpress there is a good article here on how to speed up your site https://www.keycdn.com/blog/google-pagespeed-insights-wordpress/