How important is your Google PageSpeed score?

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First things first

Let us begin by saying that, as a website owner, you do know that your website needs to be fast. Speed is incredibly important to every site. Everyone knows a slow loading website when they see one. So, how important is your Google Pagespeed score?

It can obviously be frustrating and have a negative impact on the page experience. Slow-loading websites can drastically decrease conversion and affect visitors who are coming to your site. Eventually, this might also cost you plenty of customers.

Usually, an attentive website owner always refers to Google’s recommendations for an optimized individual page score. These recommendations can come in handy most of the time.

One of the tools that Google mentions are the Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool provides you with 2 scores: one for mobile and one for desktop along with some advice on how you can improve your score.

The famous paradox

Recently, the Google PageSpeed insights score has been heavily discussed in the digital world.
As a matter of fact, a lot of our clients ask us why their PageSpeed grade isn’t higher and get alarmed when they check their score.
Here is a simple truth that might come as a shock to you, as it did to them: Your Google PageSpeed Score Does not matter. Yes, it does not.

While Google provides you with useful tips and general rules to follow, such as resizing specific images and avoiding elements and third-party plugins that might be slowing down your site, keep in mind that trying to perfectly fulfill ALL of Google’s suggestions will make you lose your sanity. Make no mistake about that.

To put it simply, Your Google PageSpeed score is a “guessed estimate” based on artificial testing and random factors that can appear to be “slow”. Google will go over these factors and address the developers about them.

However, the results of these artificial tests may not directly affect the real loading time of the site. Your website speed is indeed important, but measuring this speed can get complicated. It’s all a matter of putting things into perspective.

Does a user really care if some Javascript is taking some time to load while the website he’s checking already works? Not really.

In other words, Google PageSpeed Insights scores aren’t actually accurate when it comes to real user experience and website ranking. They do not and cannot measure a visitor’s actual experience while loading a website.
However, they can help you spot a few errors you’re not aware of or might have forgotten.

What Does Google PageSpeed Insights Measure exactly?

A website is a mixture of codes, scripts, text, files and images. 

These scripts and codes will define how the content will be displayed on various devices when a website loads, before displaying the visual content. After the text, images, and videos are loaded, an additional code on your website will help the search engines communicate informative results for users, using a technical language.

As a first step, Google PageSpeed will divide the full load time into multiple key performance indicators that could be measured separately. For example, it will assess how fast did the first bit of content load, how long did it take to load all the content and answer the search query, how long did it take to load the entire page, including all the codes that do not affect user experience. 

After that, Google PageSpeed Insights will rate each of these metrics and compare them to the top-performing websites. Then, a weighted average method of calculation is used to determine the general ‘Performance Score’ that represents the result of all these calculations.

What you should notice here is that sometimes, a website can provide a good user experience by loading content really fast. However, this site could also pave plenty of scripts and codes in the backend that can influence the overall website load time. As a result, its Google Page Speed ‘Performance Score’ can turn out to be low, while its  search rankings are in fact pretty great. 

Another website could be doing really well when it comes to the back-end code elements, but can be loading really slowly because its content is not optimized. Ironically, this website will have a high ‘Performance Score’ grade knowing that the factors that lead to this high score are significant to users. In this case, the user experience is obviously bad and the ranking of this website on the search results will not be flattering.

On this note, we can provide you with striking examples related to giant businesses in the digital world such as CNN, American Express, and Amazon. Although these companies spend plenty of their time on optimizing their digital marketing, they happen to have a horribly low PageSpeed score.

For this explicit reason, ‘Performance Score’ results displayed by Google PageSpeed Insight CAN be misleading and inaccurate when it comes to assessing your website speed, if we do not take the full context into consideration.

How to make the best of it

The best way to benefit from PageSpeed is to know what to take from it, instead of using it as a sole reference to evaluate the performance of your site. The best approach you can do is to view it as one of many indicators. Remember to focus on speed and don’t worry about chasing a perfect grade. You can always check the suggested recommendations carefully and, based on these suggestions, you can decide if you can address the problem area and if it is worth your time and effort. For instance, If one of these recommendations happens to be impossible to apply, you should ignore it. Also, whenever you want to review your site speed, make sure to use various speed testing tools like GTMetrix for example.

In a nutshell

Our advice to you: do not beat yourself over Google PageSpeed score, ever.

Google PageSpeed Insights is indeed a good measurement tool and can help you look into various “behind the scene” details on your site and improve them. But bear in mind that it cannot be viewed separately because It’s the combination of multiple factors, with different degrees of importance that constitute the backbone of your website’s performance. 

So, chasing a perfect score would be like chasing dragons. A total waste of time, and nearly impossible to achieve.

On this note, our team of search experts at Triangle MENA is trained to analyze various metrics that determine performance scores, along with many other factors that mutually affect user experience and search rankings. We spend a great deal of time finding new methods to optimize your website from multiple sources and various metrics.
So, if you seek to evaluate and understand your positioning in the digital market from all angles, don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can check out what we can improve in order for you to reach your ultimate business goals.