Google Confirms Chrome Usage Data Used to Measure Site Speed
Posted by Tom-Anthony
During a discussion with Google’s John Mueller at SMX Munich in March, he told me an interesting bit of data about how Google evaluates site speed nowadays. It has gotten a bit of interest from people when I mentioned it at SearchLove San Diego the week after, so I followed up with John to clarify my understanding.
The short version is that Google is now using performance data aggregated from Chrome users who have opted in as a datapoint in the evaluation of site speed (and as a signal with regards to rankings). This is a positive move (IMHO) as it means we don’t need to treat optimizing site speed for Google as a separate task from optimizing for users.
In this post, I want to recap the pertinent data around this news quickly and try to understand what this may mean for users.
Google Search Console
Firstly, we should clarify our understand of what the “time spent downloading a page” metric in Google Search Console is telling us. Most of us will recognize graphs like this one:
Until recently, I was unclear about exactly what this graph was telling me. But handily, John Mueller comes to the rescue again with a detailed answer [login required] (hat tip to James Baddiley from Chillisauce.com for bringing this to my attention):
John clarified what this graph is showing:
It’s technically not “downloading the page” but rather “receiving data in response to requesting a URL” – it’s not based on rendering the page, it includes all requests made.
And that it is:
this is the average over all requests for that day
Because Google may be fetching a very different set of resources every day when it’s crawling your site, and because this graph does not account for anything to do with page rendering, it is not useful as a measure of the real performance of your site.
For that reason, John points out that:
You can read the full article at Moz Bloghttp://seopti.com/google-confirms-chrome-usage-data-used-to-measure-site-speed/http://seopti.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/moz-logo.pnghttp://seopti.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/moz-logo.pngSEOMOZPosted by Tom-AnthonyDuring a discussion with Google’s John Mueller at SMX Munich in March, he told me an interesting bit of data about how Google evaluates site speed nowadays. It has gotten a bit of interest from people when I mentioned it at SearchLove San Diego the week after,...firstname.lastname@example.orgAdministratorSEOPTI