Don’t you love arguments when you and the other person are arguing over facts.
Somebody is wrong, but it’s impossible to persuade them if they believe the fact.
For example, I’m yacking about James Bond movies with a friend and I say my favorite was Casino Royale with Brad Pitt.
My friend bristles and says “What are you talking about? Brad wasn’t Bond It was Daniel Craig.”
I reply “that’s nonsense. It was Brad.”
In case you don’t know, Daniel Craig played Bond.
It’s a silly argument based on mistaken fact.
These days smartphones are an instant arbiter. The argument ends with a “let’s Google it.”
If Google isn’t accessible the argument can go in circles.
Been there, done that.
These days, instead of arguing in circles with no agreement in sight, I capitulate with “okay, you’re right” while thinking to myself “nope, I’m right.”
I’ll cave for the sake of moving on.
Most arguments and debates aren’t so easily solved.
We search in Google but end up with many different opinions and suggestions.
Who is right?
Take SEO as an example.
I’m sure fights have broken out at SEO conferences over SEO arguments.
When someone is about to take a swing, that’s probably a good time to capitulate with a “okay, you’re right.”
As far as I’m concerned, a slug to the snout isn’t worth being right.
Site speed strategies and tactics are also hotly debated
For the past week I’ve been working on cleaning up sites and moving over to Gutenberg from Elementor. I plan on using Gutenberg for regular posts going forward as well.
For example, I’ve ditched Yoast SEO for The SEO Framework plugin (formerly Autodescription). I’m told SEO Framework is leaner.
I started cleaning up sites and improving speed mid last year.
The ditching Yoast delay was due to my using Yoast’s redirection feature. I wasn’t sure what to do with all those redirects. I was too busy at the time to deal with it.
Turns out Kinsta hosting has a redirect feature. It’s server-side which apparently is better than doing redirects via plugin such as Yoast or Redirection plugins. Problem solved.
I exported the Yoast (and Redirection plugin) redirects and imported them into Kinsta hosting. Problem solved. Yoast is toast.
The Gutenberg delay was due to it being “challenging”.
And it is, but I think I’m past the “how the heck does this thing work” stage and moving into “this is pretty cool, but still figuring it out” stage.
Other than that, I’m working on ditching all non-essential plugins and replacing hogs with gazelles… that is replacing resource-heavy plugins with lighter options.
There’s a lot of site speed stuff I don’t have all the answers to but I’m learning.
Why all this site performance talk?
Google announced some time ago that they’re unleashing an update in May that will give some level of preference to websites with a better user experience. Part of the “user experience” formula includes site speed.
How much site speed will impact rankings is anyone’s guess.
Google has a sitespeed insights tool (called Pagespeed Insights).
To make matters more complicated, some site speed folks in the know suggest that sitespeed scores don’t reflect actual website speed. I tend to agree.
But here’s the million dollar question (literally): Will Google base site speed performance on its Pagespeed scores or some other measure? Both?
I don’t know.
I suspect you don’t know.
Googling it, ironically, won’t answer the question because Google hasn’t clarified this.
Take CNN’s website as an example. I ran a post through the Pagespeed Insights tool and it scored a 6 on mobile. It really can’t get much worse than that. In case you don’t know, 100 is the best and 1 is the worst (maybe it’s zero, I don’t know).
Forbes eked out a 32.
Business Insider posted a 37.
Huffpost weighed in at 15.
Quora spit out a dismal 9.
Men’s Health: 8
Yoga Journal: 48 (best of the bunch but still in the red).
That’s a smattering of some of the biggest content sites in the world, all of which are in the red. Is Google going to stop sending them traffic?
I doubt it.
FYI, these scores vary by post so if you test them the scores will be different.
Go check these sites for yourself. This little exercise might make you feel better. I know I feel better about things.
However, you are likely not the equivalent of CNN and the other heavyweights listed so instead of doing nothing, it’s worth working on improving your site speed.
One of the most instrumental sites I’ve read about all this site speed stuff is Pagepipe by Steve Teare.
I don’t follow everything he says, but I’ve incorporated much of what he suggests.
More importantly, he opened my eyes to the importance of fast sites and more importantly, how to do it. He tests so many plugins and themes, it’s ridiculous. His site is an encyclopedia about website speed. If you visit, browse around.
I learned generally that plugins with tons of bells and whistles are usually pretty heavy and that you’re better off using several small plugins, each doing just one thing.
Plus he has a lot of content about Gutenberg in the works. Here’s his comments on Gutenberg vs Elementor.