Let me start by saying, we’re not huge fans of Google. Why? Because they constantly seem to be changing the goal line for what they consider a good web experience.
Google has just launched its new Core Web Vitals (CWV) criteria to affect website ranking. Nobody is sure how this will all play out, but unless you have no images and minimal text content, the Google algorithm thinks that you have too much information and that your website is slow.
Core Web Vitals scores are calculated based on a complex formula based on speed on a mobile display and a mobile phone metric that is 20% slower than current mobile versions. When we test for CWV, we run tests multiple times because the results are highly inconsistent within minutes of each other. It would seem that the testing is subject to bandwidth and server load issues at the website and Google. The inconsistency of the test results is highly frustrating.
Some of the items that result in slower website loading and lower CWV scores include Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Fonts, GDPR Country lookups – basically anything that requires touching another web service. If you have contact or Mailchimp forms on your home page, the spam blocking reCaptcha also slows things down. The biggest slow down is always Google fonts – and we do try and use other font libraries (Adobe fonts) – but there is always a ‘speed’ hit.
Hopefully, this new ranking factor will only affect poorly built and older websites that score extremely low – but nobody knows because Google keeps everything related to search algorithms extremely secret.
Unfortunately, websites are built for people, and people require information on a home page. There are ‘tweaks’ that can improve a website’s CWV score, and most Honeycomb websites built within the last two years score very well. Older websites might need some adjustments.
After spending days running online tests – we started to view the poor scoring websites on our cell phones. Even the worst scoring websites loaded quickly – so Google, we hate you!
Our first priority is user experience, and everything else is secondary. So take out your phone, load up your website, and if you think it loads slow, let Honeycomb know, and we’ll run page load and speed tests to determine if it’s the website or your cell network, and we’ll make recommendations on any improvements that can be made.