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Core Web Vitals


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On 6/28/2021 at 2:56 PM, paul2009 said:

That's not correct. The lightning bolt icon does not indicate an issue with website performance.

It indicates that a lightweight or 'AMP' version of the link is available. AMP is available for blog posts, if the feature has been enabled in Settings > Blogging > Accelerated Mobile Pages

You'll see that there's no lightning bolt for non-blog pages on the same site.

no-amp-posts-google-results-happydrops.jpeg.e5239dae3e416e354e0985e1f5d9c5ca.jpeg

Thanks Paul. Seems to be working as you told. Great!

Leaves us with with loading performance (LCP) and visual stability (CLS). Are these problems beyond our control? Looks like it if we look at the 2 top issues GT metrix shows.  

Is it up to the SS developers team to finds solutions to save time with the eliminate render blocking resources and improves the efficient cache policy? Or can we optimise this ourselves?

Site Vitality.jpg

GT metrix.jpg

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On 6/29/2021 at 9:31 PM, BONICA said:

Can someone please help me improve my performance score and load times?

Don't worry about arbitrary performance scores. As was mentioned already above, Core Web Vitals is only one indicator of a site's performance and it's not the most important one. It is just one of the many measurements being used to determine your site's SEO ranking. 

Content will remain the most important factor in maintaining your SEO score. A good popular site with great relevant content will always beat a site with poor content, regardless of what the metrics say. 

There is a lot you can do. Review your content. Check your metadata. Ensure your sitemap and navigation are clear and easy to navigate. Make certain that image file sizes are not large and remove any third-party code that you aren't sure about. Once you've done this, the rest is up to Squarespace engineers.

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Sorrry @JamesDesign I don't agree simply because what you have listed as motivations should be the minimum you are doing as part of your strategy, and at least when taking aim for organic listings, you can be sure the websites positioned near the top, will have ticked those boxes.

Therefore in a search results landscape that is level across all the important metrics, CWV is going to be the next frontier for making the grade. And therefore critical.

By around mid-september we are going to have a lot of webmasters looking at year on year comparison and find that there will or will not be traffic drops. If the latter we know that CWV is going to have less impact, but after nearly 22 years in this SEO saddle, Google always delivers on anything to reduce the flow of free traffic, to address their advertising model, so I have no reason to think CWV will not be important.

G.

 

We provide digital marketing services for businesses that need exposure/sales from search and social media networks. We also build incredibly fast and well optimised multi-language Square Space websites.
Digital Marketing | Marketing Digitale

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19 hours ago, GlynMusica said:

Sorrry @JamesDesign I don't agree simply because what you have listed as motivations should be the minimum you are doing as part of your strategy, and at least when taking aim for organic listings, you can be sure the websites positioned near the top, will have ticked those boxes.

Therefore in a search results landscape that is level across all the important metrics, CWV is going to be the next frontier for making the grade. And therefore critical.

By around mid-september we are going to have a lot of webmasters looking at year on year comparison and find that there will or will not be traffic drops. If the latter we know that CWV is going to have less impact, but after nearly 22 years in this SEO saddle, Google always delivers on anything to reduce the flow of free traffic, to address their advertising model, so I have no reason to think CWV will not be important.

G.

 

This is coming from someone with only a small amount of SEO knowledge so sorry if it is too simplistic.

Is there a rank of say the top 5 SEO metrics to get right and the weighting? Such as 1. Content, 2. Mobile experience, 3. Site loading speed, 4. Bounce rate

Ideally everything is perfect but if you cant get everything perfect what should we put the most effort into?

Hopefully this makes sense 🙂

 

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Not really, I could take each of those and provide you with cases for how each was important and interrelated and impacting on search positioning.

I would say that you need to start with perfection in terms of all the performance boxes and then work on content and match design and communication with intent of search query.

G

 

We provide digital marketing services for businesses that need exposure/sales from search and social media networks. We also build incredibly fast and well optimised multi-language Square Space websites.
Digital Marketing | Marketing Digitale

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  • 2 weeks later...

As you can see from the Google Search Console for my website the past weeks, everything suddenly dropped, as well as I received messages from Google that all of my domains needed improvement due to CLS issues.1.jpg.7b5a6315d7c311aba116cebb8cd93b58.jpg

Earlier this week I contacted Squarespace support and requested that they could provide me with an answer as to why even blank SS pages received CLS issues and poor rankings.

The interesting thing is that only SS say that Google Pagespeed Insights are not optimized for the Squarespace CMS. But the fact is that the code of SS is messy and large compared to other CMS systems. And I argued that Google use their Search Console to penalize our websites, as they don't care that it's a CMS platform. 

So after several e-mail after I raged a bit about them sending my standard responses answering questions I never even asked, as well as them never actually answering my actual questions. They told me eventually after some supervisor answered me, that they would file a ticket to the developers (I don't know if they actually did it).

BUT...now, some days later, my website is ranking better when it comes to the CLS issues, and my reports in Search Console are getting better. In this time I tried to disable Anchor ads, and remove ads from the top of my page without any change is the PageSpeed Insights. On the 23rd I activated the anchor ads again, and all of a sudden everything is looking to come back - Fingers Crossed!!

2.jpg.9618cc9d3ecfbe6ef8cb7d4cf3d48724.jpg

 

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Do bear in mind that search console is going to be subject to all the usual issues that any of the other tools do, so whether it is GSC, SEMRUSH, AHREF etc a website can time-out when a crawl is being made. So the crawler tool or the website times-out.

We frequently see this with GTMETRIX, where you change nothing on the website and between two crawls there are massive differences.

These tools are really basic. This is why Google does recommend that you use the Chrome extension of lighthouse in an incognito tab, it's the closest you can get to clean parse of your website.

My advice is that you setup reports in Google Analytics that look at sending you data on Organic Traffic on Desktop and Mobile on a one-month automation with a 30 day look-back. In this way you'll get a report that signals any notable traffic drop and you can then check with GSC.

G.

 

 

We provide digital marketing services for businesses that need exposure/sales from search and social media networks. We also build incredibly fast and well optimised multi-language Square Space websites.
Digital Marketing | Marketing Digitale

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Yes it looks like Squarespace have basically condemned the entirety of their customer base to the SEO doldrums and for those that rely on organic search that could ultimately mean business failure.

Their radio silence on this topic is deafening.

If I was in the dev team at Squarespace, I'd be focusing on nothing else, yet here we are with no obvious changes or transparency on this issue. Just a glimmer of hope in the form of comms regarding this could put minds at ease but they'd rather let this blazing dumpster fire burn. 

In fact, better communication from Squarespace about anything at all dev related would be deeply appreciated. More evidence that there is someone working on anything at all would be a huge shift. 

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Read their financial reports, their business is strong. Hoping they will improve things, but you can optimise for CWV if you know your SEO even if it's not as good as Webflow, WP,  or other CMSs at the moment

We provide digital marketing services for businesses that need exposure/sales from search and social media networks. We also build incredibly fast and well optimised multi-language Square Space websites.
Digital Marketing | Marketing Digitale

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I made a blank Squarespace 7.0 page (except for the header and footer of course) and managed to get a score of 51!

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fsc.nz%2Fspeedtest

The main roadblock seems to be the large amount of javascript files loaded even if the page doesn't use them. I hope these are not used for editing the site and are only used for the live view.... if not they should be separated.

Edited by Brent_Dickens
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for that share, interesting to see how Wix accomplished their goal. I think most of the optimisation for SS websites could be simply with conditional unloads. We use a plugin for our WP customers, https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-asset-clean-up/,  which is basically the type of thing SS should be doing with their JS assets. Many times they are loaded but no actually needed.

We provide digital marketing services for businesses that need exposure/sales from search and social media networks. We also build incredibly fast and well optimised multi-language Square Space websites.
Digital Marketing | Marketing Digitale

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On 8/31/2021 at 8:01 PM, GlynMusica said:

Thanks for that share, interesting to see how Wix accomplished their goal. I think most of the optimisation for SS websites could be simply with conditional unloads. We use a plugin for our WP customers, https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-asset-clean-up/,  which is basically the type of thing SS should be doing with their JS assets. Many times they are loaded but no actually needed.

Yup that is exactly how I would approach it. They could even do the same for CSS so it creates an optimised CSS file for only the rendered components making it very streamlined.

Maybe they need a save and a publish so when it is published it creates the final optimised files.
Imagine how good it would be for their brand if they could truly say that Squarespace is at the forefront and creates truly optimised sites that perform well on CWS. Huge win!

Edited by Brent_Dickens
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I've dropped from ranking #4 (or thereabouts) on the first page to now ranking between #13 and #25 on the second or third page of results. This coincides with the final rollout of the new update and I'm beyond annoyed at Squarespace for still not having fixed (or even addressed) this issue.

I did a lot of work to get us on the first page of results where we've sat for three years, until the last few weeks.

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On 3/26/2021 at 11:45 AM, finidush said:

After sending a panicky message to SS support I received the below message. Finally they have recognised that this is an issue and it is being treated as a priority.

I'm still extremely nervous that CWV is going to tank my business from May onwards. My competitors websites are all performing better than mine so SS need to pull something pretty special out of the bag.

 

Any further progress on this?

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Wix are doing that because they know SquareSpace have an issue 🙂I just ran a couple of their template URLS through lighthouse and got crappy scores.

Some things you can do:

If you want here's an article that will, with a configuration of GTM, pull in CWV data into Google Analytics:
https://www.simoahava.com/analytics/track-core-web-vitals-in-ga4-with-google-tag-manager/

Google Analytics.

If I want to test impact, apart from looking in GSC which frankly I take with a pinch of salt. This is what I would do.

Find a blog post or service page from at least 3 months back but ideally over a year that has CWV problems (test using lighhouse chrome or the above gtm tweak)
Create an audience segment that isolates just ORGANIC traffic in GA.
Go to the Landing pages view, as this will tell me about visits that arrived directly from Organic Search
Check the traffic to that page at the end of September (August lots of people are on holiday)
Check the traffic to that page during the months July, June and vs previous year.
Adjust data for seasonality.
You should get a picture of any page performance changes this way, the CWV GTM will mean you can do this more easily without having to run lighthouse separately.

Here's a GA segment for Organic Traffic you can import:
https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=oIezNyYhTGuWTrGcTzf1MA

You could also look at landing page visits from Organic search as global values and do lookbacks to see for traffic change but this could overlook new pages etc.

G.

 

 

 

We provide digital marketing services for businesses that need exposure/sales from search and social media networks. We also build incredibly fast and well optimised multi-language Square Space websites.
Digital Marketing | Marketing Digitale

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't have anything to add in terms of a solution I am afraid, but I just want to add to the voices saying that it would be nice to hear from Squarespace if they plan to do anything about this in the near future.   It's tarnished my view of Squarespace as a company and shame that communications are not forthcoming.  

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