Google Page Speed – Site PerformanceBy R.O.B On July 1, 2011 Under Running Online Business, Search Engine Optimization
As has been made quite popular over the last few months, the speed of a website is becoming an increasingly critical factor to its corresponding position in Google – and rightfully so. I, personally, have seen a number of slow, poorly constructed websites ranking highly for numerous keywords, and I am glad that this is quickly changing. Not long ago, Google released a new ‘lab’ called Page Speed, which allows you to now see what recommendations Google makes regarding your site’s performance. This is much more helpful than the old method of just seeing a graph in the Google Webmaster panel. So, let’s take a look:
I’m running this blog through the application:
“RunningOnlineBusiness.com got an overall Page Speed Score of 89 (out of 100).”
Looks pretty decent to me! Let’s take a look at the available warnings:
High Priority: None. This is great!
Medium Priority: Leverage browser caching. This is my only yellow warning, thankfully! The error is telling me that I need to set expiration periods for the images that I host using the Amazon s3 utility. This is a relatively simple task, but not one that is high on my list of priorities, due to the speed of Amazon s3, and the inexpensive cost of hosting such images.
Low Priority: Optimize images. Google recommends a few images that I should optimize so that visitors have a faster experience. However, the optimization that Google recommends would save the following amounts: “20.8KiB, 1.1KiB, 1.1KiB, 1.1KiB, 919B” While I do consider myself quite obsessed with performance, I won’t be optimizing any of these images. I prefer to maintain their quality than to chop off a few KiB of data. The 919B image is my logo, which certainly won’t be reduced in quality, regardless of the savings. If you do have an image that you’d like to optimize, try this site.
Minify CSS: Minifying the following CSS resources could reduce their size by 8.2KiB. Once again, a small amount of loss due to ‘unminified’ CSS resources. The catch here is that I minimize all of my CSS. These files are normally sized because they’re hosted somewhere outside of my realm of control. I suppose here I’ll have to accept my 8.2 KiB loss. I use this site to minify my CSS. Simply copy and paste a CSS file’s contents into the site I just linked, then copy the output and paste it into your file, deleting the original content first.
Now that we’ve covered a few of the ways to improve site performance that Google recommends, the task we’re facing is to determine what will be making the list next, and how to stay ahead of the competition in our new-found age of performance-driven search engine optimization. However, never lose site of your mission – pleasing your visitors. Even if Google was to totally disregard your site’s speed and performance, such attributes would maintain their dire level of importance because, let’s face it: Nobody is going to choose to spend their time on a slow-loading, laggy site.
We’ve seen here that this blog’s Page Speed score is 89 out of 100.
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