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Is Pagespeed Insights a ranking factor?

Last updated on October 18, 2021 | By

Google Pagespeed Insights inst a direct factor from raking. It’s meant to be a tool to aid website owners, in seeing what (if anything) they needed to adjust to make their sites to be more mobile-friendly, according to Google. It’s from the early Google update, in January 2018 when it announced that their algorithms would begin to consider the ‘page speed’ of sites as a ranking factor. Webpagetest is also directly listed as a source for checking your website speed from Google.

With the new Core Web Vitals update, a real ranking factor(alongside with others Page Experience requirements), website owners will need to complement Pagespeed with other tools to measure their Core Web Vitals data.

Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor

The Page Experience update will make Core Web Vitals alongside all other search signals for page experience, a ranking factor.

The other search signals are Mobile-friendly, Safe-browsing, HTTPS, and No intrusive interstitials.

Google recently added to Search Console the Page Experience update which evaluates page experience metrics for individual URLs on your site and will use them as a ranking signal for a URL in Google Search results on mobile devices. Currently, it is evaluated only for mobile browsers.

If you want to improve your WordPress Core Web Vitals, check our article on it:

WordPress Core Web Vitals: Introduction And Top Optimization Tips 🔥

How to increase pagespeed insights and reach +90(2021)?

If you want to score on the Pagespeed tool, we can help you and listed the most effective ways to improve your score. Follow the guides below to update your Pagespeed score.

Reduce or improve Javascript loading

Javascript affects lots of the scoring requirements from Pagespeed. It’s primordial to pay attention to JS code when you have Pagespeed scoring on your goal.

TBT (Total Blocking Time) which measures the total amount of time that a page is blocked from responding to user input, such as mouse clicks, is majority caused by Javascript code and accounts for 30% of the total scoring.

How to discover if I can remove Javascript?

Check if your page is dependant on Javascript, do a test, and ran it without Javascript on Chrome: Open Chrome DevTools, press Control+Shift+P or Command+Shift+P (Mac) to open the Command Menu, and start typing javascript, select Disable JavaScript, and then press Enter to run the command. JavaScript is now disabled.

image 12
This is Youtube with javascript disabled. It’s a dynamic website and uses placeholder techniques to reserve space for elements

An example of a Google static website is web.dev, with a low amount of javascript and scores 94/100 on Pagespeed:

image 13

If you have a low amount of essential javascript or have a static website, your website is eligible to +90 on Pagespeed and good Core Web Vitals.

Improve image loading(CDN) and apply lazyloading(on background images too)

LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) is responsible for 25% of Pagespeed scoring. Making sure your images are loading fast and only when needed is also primordial for Pagespeed scoring.

Make sure to have all background images lazyload when necessary. Preload the LCP image on the page only to improve the LCP. Use preloading of responsive images too.

Choose a good server

This is a much know way for having good scoring. But if you have a good server, you may not need to upgrade to a CDN service for your website assets, and therefore not increase spending costs.

Conclusion:

Those are effective ways for scoring on Pagespeed Insights. Do a test and find out by clicking on “See calculator” to see what you’re missing out on scoring. The “Lighthouse Scoring Calculator” will open and you will show your respective scoring on each category.

Hire a speed optimization expert(or have a web-perf team) to consult and help you implementing changes to improve your performance, and then your pagespeed insights score. Web performance is a growing topic and has an immense impact on the web as of today, including as a search engine ranking factor.

Pagespeed Insights vs Gtmetrix

Gtmetrix updated its performance check to include Core Web Vitals CLS and LCP. The main difference between Gtmetrix and Pagespeeed is that Pagespeed offers more insights and field data(if it has enough data) for all three core web vitals, CLS, LCP, and FID. Gtmetrix offers Web Vital data TBT, which is very similar to FID.

OTOH, Gtmetrix offers in the free plan all kinds of devices, and locations emulation, great for global website owners. Gtmetrix also offers an incredible and valuable simulation of Adblock, which allows you to test your website for users with the extension.

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