Boost Your PageSpeed Insights Scores with Expert Advice from Google’s John Mueller

2 min read

Google guides enhancing website speed scores: Evaluate elements individually, identify limiting factors, and target optimizations strategically.
According to Mueller’s advice, it’s beneficial to assess specific page elements on pages marked as “noindexed” to observe their impact on speed. If a test page exhibits improved speed, but the live page doesn’t see similar gains, it indicates other factors are impeding the live page’s performance. In cases where the page speed is already satisfactory, extensive additional efforts may not be necessary.

A Reddit conversation featuring insights from Google Search Advocate John Mueller delves into website performance optimization. It sheds light on the difficulties of enhancing scores on Google’s PageSpeed Insights (PSI) tool.
In a recent Reddit discussion, a user sought advice after experiencing the perplexing outcome of not achieving improved PSI scores despite substantially reducing the sizes of images and video files. The user reported compressing images by 90% and videos by 80%, yet the PSI assessment of their site’s speed remained the same, contrary to their expectations.

To provide context, PSI, a complimentary tool offered by Google, assesses the loading speed of submitted web pages. It scrutinizes various elements, such as images, scripts, and code, and assigns a score ranging from 0 to 100 while offering suggestions for performance enhancement.
Given the significance of page speed in search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience, attaining a commendable PSI score is a primary objective for individuals engaged in website management.
In addition to optimizing image file sizes for quicker loading, here are the recommendations Mueller suggests for enhancing your score.


Mueller’s Insights on Optimizing PSI Scores

To enhance PSI (PageSpeed Insights) scores, Mueller offers a step-by-step approach. He initially recommends conducting a test to gauge the impact of individual elements on your website. This involves temporarily placing a single element, such as an image or video, on a “noindex” page, which is excluded from search results.
According to Mueller:
“When I work on such matters, my usual approach is to simplify things on a ‘noindex’ test page as much as possible. Include just one of the elements you’re concerned about and experiment there. This allows you to isolate specific changes and assess their individual effects before implementing changes across the board.”
This controlled experiment helps identify potential performance improvements from compressed files before making site-wide alterations.
Mueller further explains that if your test page doesn’t yield the same score as your live pages, it suggests the presence of other limiting factors apart from images and videos. In such cases, Mueller recommends selectively removing already-optimized elements from a duplicate of the actual page to focus on addressing the remaining issues.
As Mueller elaborates:
“If you discover that the combined page doesn’t respond as your test pages did, it implies there are other elements on that page acting as limiting factors. This means your test pages didn’t entirely represent the actual page. In such situations, create a copy of the page, remove the elements you’ve already optimized, and experiment with the remaining elements.”
Lastly, Mueller acknowledges that some websites may already meet acceptable page speed standards. If a website’s page speed falls within “reasonable” parameters, extensive additional work may not be necessary. However, specific criteria for what constitutes “reasonable” page speed are not provided by Mueller.


Key Points to Remember


Enhancing website performance often demands a step-by-step testing approach and generous patience.
When striving to enhance PageSpeed Insights scores, consider isolating individual webpage elements to assess their impact before implementing changes across the entire site.
By implementing tailored strategies that address the specific requirements of each website, achieving and maintaining favorable scores is an achievable goal.

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Shilpi Mathur
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