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When I started in SEO, Google looked like this:
This was end of the ‘90s, and Google! Was! Excited! To! Be! Here!
And search result pages used to look like this:
That was a bit later, around 2006-2007
Back then I used to explain SEO to C-suites like this:
1. Build an (optimised) site that is
easy for crawlers to understand,
plain and simple HTML wins!
2. New content daily (quantity
over quality, as long as it’s read-
able text it’ll do!)
3. Most importantly: links, lots of
links! Quality doesn’t matter - a
link is a link, isn’t it?
At the time, I honestly couldn’t have cared less about a
site delivering a decent experience…!
UX? Never heard of her.
It had to be good, when it was
ranking highly – right!?
Seriously, these trends could get insanely annoying:
Google started pushing various
topics in parallel…
How Google's focus on machine learning is changing SEO
“Will time-on-site (ToS) become the most important KPI?” (that was back in 2018)
In my perception, Google uses a
combination of several metrics
(whose individual weighting cannot
be precisely determined from the
outside), e.g. bounce rate, click-
through rate and views-per-session
- and these have very different
effects depending on the vertical.
USA Today created a super fast GDPR-compliant domain
500 vs 34 requests, 140 vs 0 JS files, 6 vs 1 CSS, 5.01 MB vs 356 KB in size, etc.
Start Render 0.300 sec 1.700 sec
First Interactive 0.345 sec 3.604 sec
Load Time 0.995 sec 19.26 sec
Speed Index 443 8,792
Total Requests 34 859
Bytes in 356 KB 5,092 KB
Your users’ expectations are clear:
Obviously, slow page loading time is a major factor in page abandonment.
According to a Nielsen report, 47% of people
expect a website to load within two
seconds, and 40% will leave a website if it
does not load fully within three seconds.
Fast loading time plays an important role
in overall user experience!
“Performance = user experience”
Revisited: page speed (load time) is a ranking factor
Source: https://pa.ag/2iAmA4Y | https://pa.ag/2ERTPYY
Highlighting great user experiences on the mobile web
Fast page labelling is now available in Chrome 85 (currently only Chrome for Android)
"Fast page" labelling may badge a
link as fast if the URL (or URLs like it)
have been historically fast for other
users. When labelling, historical data
from a site’s URLs with similar
structure are aggregated together.
Historical data is evaluated on a host-
by-host basis when the URL data is
insufficient to assess speed or is
unavailable, for example, when the
URL is new or less popular.
User experience to become a Google ranking factor
Core Web Vitals to evaluate perceived user- as well as page experience
Google announced a new ranking algorithm designed to judge web pages based on how users perceive
the experience of interacting with a web page. That means if Google thinks your website users will have a
poor experience on your pages, Google may not rank those pages as highly as they are now
So, maybe it’s not that much of a debate?
We (sometimes) do certain things for search
engines, but they (almost always) require
those things because they have learned it
actually is what their users want.
What do you think? Is it still one or the other - or not so