Web panic about Google Core Web Vitals baloney — & WebP image silliness.

WordPress Mobile Speed


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Google hedges about speed policy like Core Web Vitals. Not every criteria Google preaches about speed makes a difference in the real world.

REFERENCE: https://torquemag.io/2020/06/google-bert-explained/

We agree with the article above by TorqueMag published on June 24, 2020. They talk about what really matters for SEO.

Especially this quote:

“Google’s primary goal has always been to match users to good content. Consequently, it should be every website’s aim to create it for them. The algorithm has been constantly moving away from artificial ways of inflating your SEO and towards promoting high-quality articles. But it’s more important than ever to focus on content.”

We do not believe Google (or bloggers who quote Google) when they say speed is an important ranking factor. No data confirms this. It affects ranking less than 1 percent. It’s a great way to create anxiety in site owners. Our PagePipe traffic volume continues to grow. This is because of the Core Web Vitals hubbub. Google attempting to quantify Page Experience is good for our business – but not yours.

REFERENCE: https://pagepipe.com/avoiding-futile-web-myths-about-site-speed/

“… the average time it takes to fully load a webpage is 10 seconds on desktop and 27 seconds on mobile.”

REFERENCE: https://www.machmetrics.com/speed-blog/average-page-load-times-for-2020/

Is 27-seconds good enough? No, it’s horrible.

Google’s been being scary and bullying about speed for years with no teeth.

We make our living selling speed improvement.

Our page-speed goal is a 2000-millisecond load time. That’s right. Under 2 seconds.

Articles like this one (below) help feed the fear that sites are lacking:

REFERENCE: https://web.dev/vitals-tools/

“Core Web Vitals are not set in stone – which means they may change from year to year depending on what users expect out of a good web page experience.” — Search Engine Journal

WebPageTest is the industry standard for measuring site performance. The results are collected from real browsers running common operating systems.

Speed is about user experience (UX) not SEO. It’s about being polite to users. We don’t check speed with test scores. The only metric we use is milliseconds of load time as determined by WebPagetest.org.

Here are the 3 main metrics Google uses for a Core Web Vitals score:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
  2. First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have a FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.

So if your website loads in under 2 seconds on WebPageTest.org, will it pass these silly Core Web Vitals parameters: absolutely.
Nothing changed. Needless anxiety.

Here’s what we have to say about speed and SEO:

REFERENCE: https://pagepipe.com/ignore-googles-200-seo-signals-including-speed-learn-writing-skills-for-good-page-ranking/

REFERENCE: https://pagepipe.com/online-speed-test-scores-are-especially-useless-for-mobile-speed-improvement/

We haven’t found any advantage in using Next-Gen faddish image formats.

Next-Gen Image formats include:

  • JPEG 2000
  • WebP

They’re costly hand-waving at best. Getting 10-percent smaller image files does not increase speed by 10 percent. Images load in the browser in parallel. Well-optimized lossy JPEG images are still the best practice.

REFERENCE: https://pagepipe.com/the-fastest-alternatives-to-heavy-jpeg-images-for-page-speed/



We’re not advocates of CDNs or server caching for speed repairs.

We solve speed problems using origin optimization. That means figuring out what needs to change about the basic strategy of a site. We don’t throw money at speed problems. We sell future speed strategy — not only repairs.

The way to proceed is to “think incrementally.” Rent a rowboat before you buy a yacht – just in case you get seasick.

Pick your slowest site affected most by bad speed. Let’s start there.

REFERENCE: https://pagepipe.com/best-wordpress-performance-tuning/

Let’s start with one site and a performance goal measurable in milliseconds.


Steve Teare
performance engineer


Other unconventional speed articles like this one:

PagePipe Site Tuning Services for Speed

Instead of band-aid approaches, we drill down to the root cause of your slow site. This is origin optimization. Also known as site tuning. To do this, we analyze site components:

  • Hosting
  • Theme
  • Plugins
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  • Images and media library.
  • We minimize globally loading plugin effects.

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