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What is Pagespeed?

Google Pagespeed Insights is a tool for monitoring and testing a website’s performance.

You can access it for free at this address, simply enter a URL to get a result out of a maximum score of 100.

This result is broken down into sub-categories with recommendations to improve the overall performance score. The tool can rate different criteria such as loading times, accessibility, protocols, resource consumption, and many other indicators.

Why has Pagespeed become an obsession?

SEO (search engine optimization) is the key to attracting visitors. Google has regularly stated that page loading time is a criterion when ranking search results. If the engine remains secretive about its criteria, there is a widespread (and partly justified) belief that the performance of a website (and therefore the Pagespeed) may influence the traffic coming from Google News and Discover. As these two audience sources are vital for web media, we can understand the anxiety of webmasters regarding variations in their Pagespeed that are not always easy to understand. 

A fear that has turned into an obsession with the announced update of Page Experience by Google (planned in May and then postponed to June 2021), which is supposed to give even greater importance to performance, by linking it to the user experience.

In this context, the complex issue of SEO was reduced to a simple equation: 

The higher my page speed = the better my ranking

But this equation is WRONG!

Pagespeed: psychology and data

Google uses Pagespeed in its ranking model. Striving to improve the loading speed of your website is therefore an important element and can even be a competitive advantage against the content offered by a competitor’s website. But this is only one of many criteria.

Every day, we see websites with excellent scores (above 95) ranking far behind others with a much lower Pagespeed. At the moment, website speed is not a main criterion. 

If it has become so important, it is for an obvious psychological reason: the Pagespeed is virtually the only element of comparison available and understandable to all. This data partly covers the considerable uncertainties arising from the mysterious variations in referencing and audiences. It’s no surprise that we all rush towards this small source of light.  

What we need to keep in mind are the recommendations offered by Pagespeed. Divided into 24 different criteria, they provide you with optimization tips for your website. This approach will be beneficial for your website even if it is no guarantee of a better referencing. 

What about advertising?

Scripts integrated in the pages of your website, make calls to the servers that will load the advertising material. These data transfers are part of the advertiser/publisher cycle, which is essential to the monetization of your website. Their complexity has led advertising to become a major performance consumer. In other words, advertising has a significant impact on Pagespeed. It is common to see a website go from a score of 90/100 without advertising to a score below 50/100 with advertising. Is this a disaster for your SEO? No. If it were, the websites with the least amount of advertising would be at the top of Google search results. This is not the case. 

However, finding the right balance between loading time and revenue optimization is a key challenge today. You need to get the most out of your inventory, without negatively impacting the user experience (UX) and without affecting too much the website’s performance (and Pagespeed).

This is a complex mechanism that is constantly being challenged by the evolution of advertising solutions. It will become even more essential with the upcoming change of the Google algorithm. Dedicated support and a customized approach are essential to achieve this. 

This has been our ongoing concern at Culture G for the past 10 years. Since the beginning we have placed performance at the heart of our monetization strategy. If you any questions about this topic, do not hesitate to contact our experts!