Introduction

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to find a person who hasn’t heard of the Internet. Almost everybody in the world uses the Internet. Let’s take a look at the statistics below, which can show us how many people use the Internet today and even forecasts about the future.

Content:

All these people aren’t just using this technology for sitting on the Google homepage, are they? Every Internet user can surf the net, visiting different sites and trying to find something that might interest them. So, developers should make their sites as perfect as possible in order not to disappoint the user and persuade them to use their product for as long as possible. Optimization is not the least necessary stage in development.

If your site is well optimized it will bring you and your client lots of benefits. For example, if the site optimization is good, it will load faster, which can save users’ time and make using your site more comfortable. As a result, you will attract new clients, which can’t be bad.

Now we understand why optimization is so important. Let’s look at the methods, how to find out the level of your site’s optimization, and improve it. Of course, you can count the time it takes your site to download and then work with it intuitively. But in the era of the Internet, there are lots of services that can help you monitor your website performance. One of them is Google PageSpeed Insights and now I’ll give you some general information about it.

Google PageSpeed Insights API asks for a link of the page you want to investigate and then tests the downloading time (either on mobile devices or on computers), analyzes the content of the web page, and offers solutions that will speed up its download.

 

What are the particular qualities of this resource?

The fundamental feature of PageSpeed API is estimating the results on a scale, issuing them from 1 to 100, and highlighting with three colors: red, orange-yellow and green, as if exposing the scores poorly, satisfactorily and well. Excellent is when the value of the index is more than 94, as it seems to me. Please note that PageSpeed Insights API is constantly evolving, so as the addition of new rules or the improvement of analytical algorithms, the assessment sometimes changes.

Google PageSpeed API determines how to improve the following metrics:

  1. Loading time of a head of the page: The total time from the instant the page is requested to the time the top of the page is displayed in the browser.
  2. Load time of the full page: the total time from the instant when the page was requested to its full display in the browser window.

Since the rate of the compound varies from client to client, PageSpeed Insights only regards aspects of the page, which are independent from network connection, like configuration of the server, HTML structure, use of special resources (images, CSS and JavaScript). Applying its recommendations, you can increase the relative speed of the page loading. The absolute speed, in fact, depends on the speed and quality of the connection to the network.

 

What download speed should you have?

A lot of developers ask this question because they have no statistics for average download speed, but now you can find it below and compare it with yours. But be sure that you have picked your industry and location to make the comparison more accurate.

Industry  United States United Kingdom  Germany Japan
Automotive  9.5 s.  12.3 s. 11.0 s.  10.3 s.
Business & Industrial Markets  8.7 s. 8.3 s.  8.2 s.  8.1 s.
Classifieds & Local  7.9 s. 8.3 s.  7.0 s.  8.3 s.
Finance  8.3 s.  8.0 s.  8.6 s.  7.6 s.
Media & Entertainment 9 s. 8.8 s. 7.6 s.  8.4 s.
Retail  9.8 s.  10.3 s. 10.3 s.  8.3 s.
Technology  11.3 s.  10.6 s.  8.8 s.  10 s.
Travel  10.1 s.  10.9 s.  7.1 s.  8.2 s.

But don’t forget that the Internet is developing and new technologies appear every day, so maybe in a few years normal download time will be 3 seconds or even less and these statistics will be out of date. In addition, look at the research conducted by Google about download speed on mobile platforms.

Which metric is affected by slow page speed?

Now let’s discuss the user interface of this service. To be fair, it’s not very difficult to understand, but it has some points which need to be explained. One of the questions, you might ask is “Which metric is affected by slow page speed?”, and now I’ll answer this question. Theoretically, if your site downloads slowly, it affects the PageSpeed indicator, which shows us how well your site is optimized, but, unfortunately, it works a little bit differently.

Speed (the time while the site is loading) has a great value and is one of the most important metrics in SEO, and also influences the user experience. When a Googlebot indexes your site, it doesn’t see the PageSpeed indicator, but only knows the download speed. Were you aware that the Google PageSpeed Insights do not take into account the speed of loading your site? To know the download speed, you can try such services as GTMetrix or Pingdom Tools which are much more precise than Google Pagespeed.

Remember the lessons at school. Were good marks evidence of how smart the student was? Not necessarily. They only mean that the student knows how to pass the tests. But often smart people do not get along with tests. The situation is the same with Google PageSpeed Insights API – this score doesn’t mean the speed of downloading the site. Look at Google PageSpeed API example beneath.

As you can see, there is a pair of sites with almost the same download speed but completely different optimization marks. Let’s also take a look at the sites which belong to Google itself – for example, Gmail or Youtube.

So, as we have seen, even the owner of this service doesn’t have a maximum mark on PageSpeed and it proves that it’s not necessary for us either. In fact, you should understand that Google Page Speed is a complex indicator. Some of its parts (namely, the response time of the server) are strongly related to the site speed and the convenience of users, others – only indirectly. And on different pages, the evaluation is formed in different ways. The simplest example: there was a page with only text. Then a good illustration was added, but not stitched to the last byte – the usefulness and relevance of the page grew, but the rating on PageSpeed Insights fell.

Google PageSpeed Insights test

And now let’s do a short test which will show us how does Google PageSpeed API work. As the example let’s take a popular social network named Twitter. Look at the result below.

If we look at the optimization mark we can see that PageSpeed Insights API think that the optimization of this site is quite bad. You may think that this service conducts a test to count a download speed. And depending on the information whether speed test results are good or bad, PageSpeed API counts the mark of the optimization. But if we look at the speed test we can see that it is very good. To be more objective, let’s do a speed test with the help of another service – for example, GTMetrix. Look at the results below.

If we look at the result of this test, we can see that Twitter downloads quickly and it’s PageSpeed Score is high. So, what’s the problem with PageSpeed Insights API? By analyzing the principles of its work we came to the conclusion that PageSpeed API is too naggy. If there is a JavaScript or CSS code which makes your page take a little longer to load the rating will fall down like a rock from the mountain – let alone images which are not stitched to the last byte.

Conclusion

After reading this article, you may think that Google PageSpeed Insights is an absolutely useless service, but that’s not right. Google PageSpeed is useful if you do not take it as gospel. This tool will point you to problem areas that are worth paying attention to.

For example, you can find out that some content on your site does not use any type of compression, or that there are a lot of massive images that can be compressed. But the main goal should be to improve site speed, not PageSpeed indicator. I hope this article was helpful and you have found something useful for you. Speed up your site by using Google PageSpeed Insights API. Good luck!