How important is speed & performance for SEO? SERP's Up Podcast

How important is speed & performance for SEO? SERP's Up Podcast

It's a new wave of SEO podcasting. Welcome to SERP's Up. Aloha, mahalo for joining the SERP's Up podcast. We're pushing out some groovy new insights around what's happening in SEO. I'm Mordy Oberstein, Head of SEO branding at Wix, and I'm joined by our Head of SEO Communications, Crystal Carter.

Hello, fun internet people. Welcome to our internet podcast show.

Thank you for joining us today.

Thank you. It's a pleasure.

We've really switched up that vibe on a dime. Wow.

Yeah, you were like, "Yeah!" You didn't, it's like, " Hello."

We're here to talk about... Hi. We're here to talk about SEO. Send in your questions to 1-800...

1-800-SEO, right. That's not a real phone number, if you're-

It's not. Please don't call 1-800 SEO. I don't know whose number that is, but if you get lots of phone calls.

Can you imagine that person? "Hello?" "Yes, I'm calling in..."

Dear sir, I would like to talk to you about  this ….

I would like to sell you links.

Press one for hi daily. Press two.

That's a good time to remind you that the SERP's Up podcast is brought to you by Wix, where traffic thresholds for Core Web Vitals are a thing of the past. Wait, didn't we do this last week? We did, but it's super relevant for this week, because we're talking about web performance. So Google's Search Console not giving you the field data you so desire, use Wix's Speed Dashboard. Get field data built off user sessions from multiple browsers. No more guessing what your actual Core Web Vitals are with Wix's Site Speed Dashboard. If I was a better planner, I would've used that this week and just this week and a different one last week, because this week we're talking about performance. And last time I talked about Search Console and I should have plugged something about Wix and Search Console instead... Yeah, I'm a poor planner, it turns out, even though I think I'm a really good... I'm a good planner. I promise.

I know, I know. But this is the second time today. The audience does not know the first time that I have not planned well today.

Do you know what? Sometimes it's just like that. Sometimes Mercury's in retrograde, or it's a full moon, or you just skip breakfast, or whatever it is and sometimes-

And you just got to try again the next day. And sometimes it's just like that. That's okay. That's fine.

I will try. I will do better tomorrow.

Hey, hey, we believe in you.

Thank you. Thank you for believing in me.

Your SEO affirmations, there's actually an SEO affirmations Twitter account that I found today.

Yeah, it's like, "Hey, keep up the good work." I was like, "Oh, that's nice."

Oh, I need that. Send it over right away.

So great show today. This week we're talking about, well, we're performers talking about performance.

We are talking about performance. And I'm so glad that you brought up that site Speed Dashboard, because I absolutely love it. And anybody who has a Wix account should absolutely check it out because-

It is the only place in the world you're going to get that kind of data. Literally. I'm not making that up.

Literally, literally. So there's field data, there's lab data. Lab data is when you run it through Lighthouse and it says what they can tell from their tools. Field data is information from actual users. And if you have a certain number of traffic, then if you go into Google Search Console, you can't see your field data. You can't see that information. But if you are a Wix user, then you can get your field data, whatever number of traffic you have.

No traffic thresholds. And it's not a third-party tool. It comes from the information that Wix is getting from people-

Right from the browser.

Right from the browser, from multiple browsers, not just Google.

Multiple browsers, not just Chrome. Interesting. Fascinating. Oh, boy. Anyway, okay, so today's show, we're talking about performance, also known as, how fast is this website?

And how does it all work with its network? And how's it all moving and shaken and not shaking? Not shaking at all?

Well, hopefully it's not shaking. That'd be bad for performance. But we're going to finally settle, maybe hopefully, how big of a deal is performance for SEO, which TLDR? It's an enormous debate among SEOs filled with so much information and not a lot of nuance. So we're going to try to offer a more nuanced look at the impact of performance on SEO. We'll dive into things like Core Web Vitals. Are they as big of a deal as you think? Or maybe they're a bigger deal than you might think? How would that work? Anyway, Annie Sullivan, Senior Staff Software Engineer over at Google's going to stop by and talk about some common mistakes folks make. They make their sites slow down a bit. And we talk to Wix's own Head of Web Performance, the one the only Alon Kochba, the fellow who improved Wix's Core Web Vitals tenfold.

And he's going to talk to us about how he approaches performance and where he thinks Google is headed when it comes to assessing faster loading for websites. And he's someone who talks to Google, so he's in the know. Hopefully, we'll get some secrets out of him, yeah?

Yeah, absolutely. I'm so excited about this episode, because we've got so many great folks joining us today and because-

Yeah, we're pretty stacked. Annie is fantastic. I was on a Twitter space with her and she's super incredible and super, super knowledgeable. And I've had lots of conversations with Alon and how he thinks about the whole network of over 200 million websites that he's trying to make sure that are performing as best they can. And it's something that Wix is very enthusiastic about and rightfully so. And I'm excited to talk about this topic.

Alon's super awesome. And, of course, by the way, we have your Snappy News and who you should be following on social for more SEO awesomeness. Episode number 13 of SERP's Up is here. So performance, performance is super important. It's important for multiple reasons. But it's one of these areas, if you're listening to this podcast and you're trying to, if you are very familiar with the SEO space, you'll probably nod right along. If you're newer into the SEO space, it's something that you need to be careful of. There's a lot of conflicting information about the role of performance or speed and whatnot on SEO. And there's conflicting information coming out of Google itself at some times over the years, that they're doing it on purpose. It's different statements and different people over the years, right hand not talking to the left hand, I don't know, whatever it is. Or SEOs have different takes on it.

And it's a really important issue that goes beyond just SEO. But it is also really important for SEO. But it does, I think, require a little bit more of a nuanced understanding of where performance fits into the larger SEO scheme. So I don't know, Crystal, to you, how important, let's throw it out there, how important is performance to SEO?

Okay, so just for anybody who's not in this all the time, when we say performance, there's lots of things you could talk about for SEO performance. E-ranking could be considered performance. Or traffic could be considered performance. But when we talk about web performance, we're pretty much talking about web connectivity and how people connect to your website. So we're talking about how fast your website loads, how fast different parts of your website load, how your network connections are functioning so that your website performs well, when technically, people are visiting your website. Now, I think, and in my experience, this performance is really valuable for SEO in lots of ways. It can sometimes be a litmus test for other issues that you have across your website. Speed is a ranking factor. They've said that Core Web Vitals is a ranking factor. Security is a ranking factor. These things often overlap when you're making updates.

So for instance, if you improve your security settings, it will often have an impact on your speed. It will often have an impact on your Core Web Vitals performance. So these are things that you should be thinking about. And generally speaking, when I've made Core Web Vitals updates, particularly for clients who, or websites where there is a significant amount of traffic, it has had some benefit to the overall SEO outcomes for that site. And because there's so many overlapping things, it can sometimes be difficult to understand whether it's because we improved the security, which also improved the Core Web Vitals metrics or whether it's because we improved the speed, which also improved the Core Web Vitals, or because the page is more interactive, because we didn't have third-party scripts on the page, that sort of thing. But generally speaking, the process of improving your Core Web Vitals will often improve the value of your website, overall.

And if you look at the data some of the different tool providers have put out around the impact of Core Web Vitals on ranking, the data from across the board from multiple providers has been, "Nah, not too much," which is what a lot of SEOs may have expected. Some SEOs not. Somebody says, "Oh no, it's going to be massive and huge." But I think you're right. The way I look like it, that's not the question. The question is not, oh, how much is this particular metric that Google is measuring, your Core Web Vitals, how much are they going to meet in terms of ranking directly? To me, they're more representative of, like you said, of the site overall and not just from the search engine point of view, but from the user's point of view. So when you go to a webpage, to me performance is very much first and foremost is a conversion issue.

If the website doesn't function right, if it's too slow to load, or buttons are moving around and you can't click anything, and nothing is working, people are not going to be able to add things to the cart. And they're not going to be able to enter their credit card, and not be able to give you their money, which is what you're trying to do with the website. And the health and performance of a website speaks to just how good of a website it is overall. So when you're asking, they go, "How important is it for SEO?" Super important, because it represents the technical health and it represents a conversion health of the website. You're asking about ranking for a particular keyword or a particular scenario? That's like a drop in the bucket, like a raindrop in the ocean of a kind of a question to me.

Right. One of things that was great about Core Web Vitals metrics, and if you go to, Google has lots and lots of tools for Core Web Vitals and for understanding them. And I think it's is their page that has lots of... has lots of information about Core Web Vitals and about understanding different things. If you're using Chrome, you can also right click and you can get a Lighthouse report and see different things about your website there. And there's lots of links within that. But the Core Web Vitals metrics are giving you a number for things that have always irritated everyone about websites. So cumulatively, I should just have just said classic one.

The classic, it's so bad, too.

And we all hate it when you go onto a website and you're like, "Oh, I'm going to click on this thing," and then it moves, because something else is loading. Nobody likes that.

So cumulatively layout shift, there's CLS, if you're not aware. You know where you go to a website and the buttons are moving around, and you click on the wrong thing, and you add the wrong thing to the cart, and then you ended up paying for it? You're like, "Oh, my god, I hate this website." CLS measures that. And a CLS score of zero means that that's not happening at all, which is what you want.

Right. And so what the Core Web Vitals metrics do and one of the reasons why it's so great to have that as a reporting thing is that you can say, "We have 17 pages on our website that have this issue." And if you're showing for that issue, then that means it's 17 pages that you can fix. And you can see that lots of users are having this issue, or not that many users are having that issue. And you can see how you can do it and you can show progress. So there's something called the CrUX report, which is a free thing that you can download. You can connect your website to it. And you can track your progress over time. And that will help you get better outcome for users, will help you to increase the conversion opportunities that you're talking about there. And I think that that is valuable for lots of parts of SEO. And also for instance though, one of the things that you get with Core Web Vitals metrics is they'll tell you about loading times.

So for instance, they'll give you a metric that says that, "There are parts of your page that aren't loading properly. They're loading really slowly. They're taking a really long time to load." So most people, when they come to your website, are not seeing that giant picture that you have on your homepage. Or they're not seeing that video that you have on your homepage. So if you are having a discussion as an SEO, and I'm an SEO who's less aesthetically-minded than some other people, I'm like, "Tell me how beautiful Amazon is, because they rank fantastically." So if you're somebody who's having a discussion about, "Oh, should we have that beautiful video or should we have this SEO optimized copy," or whichever, you can use your Core Web Vitals information, you can use your page experience information to make those decisions more accurately. If most users aren't seeing that video, then you probably shouldn't have that video on there. It's not helping you.

Right. Also, and again, it goes back to the earlier point about conversion, but there's also a branding side of it. If you're going to a page and things start loading... Remember, though, back in the day when we had dial-up internet? And five minutes after you loaded the page, and then something else loaded like, "Oh, oh, wait a second"? But the equivalent of that today is you go to a webpage and there's a video there and you're on the page one or two seconds, all of a sudden the video pops up. That doesn't make you look good. And that goes back to what we were saying before that Core Web Vitals or web performance, whether it's a ranking factor or... Well, I'm sorry. Let me rephrase that. It is definitely a ranking factor. But how big of a ranking factor is it? Is is a tiebreaker scenario?

Many of the instances where Google has talked about it is like, "You have two pages. Relatively same content. Every SPO is all optimized the same way, but which one's faster?" "Well, it's a tiebreaker. We'll go with one's, a better performance." Leaving that aside for a minute, when you look at how a page performs, physically performs, and it's doing something like loading the video a minute later, like it's 1995, it's not what you want.

It's not what you want.

And Core Web Vitals therefore speaks to the overall health and experience of the website as a whole. So when you have Google back in the day saying, like Gary Illyish, Illyes Illyish, ish, ish?

Gary, Gary from Google at one point said, "You could find it in an" I'm trying to find the link for you and put it in the show notes. Oh, speed is before Core Web Vitals. It was speed is a teeny, tiny ranking factor. And SEOs are debating this forever. No, no, it's a really big ranking factor. No, it's a teeny... Does it matter? Because it's so far reaching and so far speaking to what your website is that I don't think... Okay.

And also, it's a question of users are using your website. So if I have a decision between sitting there waiting for a page to load for that long or doing literally-

I see what you did there. I see it. It went right over my head for a second. And then it didn't.

Right. Or literally doing anything else, I would rather do literally anything else. And so I will go back to the page that I know will load quickly. And I will not go back to the page that I didn't even see, because I left, because I wanted to do literally anything else. So these are the things that are important to think about. And I think that Core Web Vitals gives you incredible metrics to see that at scale, and to see that over time, and to see how you're performing there. So I think it's really valuable. In terms of speed, I've worked on projects where we've made speed optimizations and it's had incredible impact on conversions and on customer value, which therefore, has an impact on rankings, because you're more valuable to users and Google can see that.

I will say on that last point, you've seen many SEOs debate this fact like, "Oh, I made a big speed improval." "Oh, that's not going to make a big impact. I've never seen a speed improve." There's more than one way to skin the cat in SEO. And you never know what's going to move the needle. And multiple things might move the needle. So I don't think it's the zero sum game that SEOs sometimes play.

One point I did want to also bring up, so Core Web Vitals can be a little bit relative. So sometimes you see that there's not that much change, particularly in sectors around e-commerce, because they're really heavily tracked. But another good thing that Core Web Vitals does is it teaches you best practice. One of the things I see really, really frequently is that lots of people have tons of third-party scripts hanging around on their website that they're not using anymore. They used to use Hotjar and now nobody has access to Hotjar anymore. And they don't even remember when they had the account or something like that. You don't need those on there. You don't need those on there. That's potentially a data risk.

And cleaning those out is good practice, and it's good for your Core Web Vitals, and it's good for your users, and it's good for your site, and all of those sorts of things. These are good habits to have. And I think the Core Web Vitals is a great element in an SEO atmosphere, because of things like that.

And speaking of things you can do to improve your Core Web Vitals and the performance of your website overall, here's Annie Sullivan, Senior Staff Software Engineer over at Google, as we ask her, what are some common mistakes you see people making with their sites that negatively impact performance?

To me, the biggest mistake people make that negatively affects performance is not taking the right approach to understanding performance. Last week, Dan Shapir tweeted out, "Measure, analyze, optimize, repeat." And I couldn't agree more. Those four words sum up performance work so well. But I see a lot of people skipping over the measure and analyze steps and just going straight to optimize. When you do that, you're not going to make much progress. You need to start by measuring to get a baseline. You should have an idea of how fast your site is for real users and how fast you'd like it to be. We have recommended thresholds for all the Core Web Vitals metrics, if you're not sure. Once you've got an idea where you're at, the next step is analyzing to understand where the biggest bottlenecks are. If you're not sure how to identify bottlenecks, you'll want to read up on the critical rendering path in browsers.

Your goal is to make the critical rendering path shorter. So you want to find the biggest things you can cut out of its way. Once you've analyzed a critical path for your own application and found where the biggest bottlenecks are, then it's time to optimize. The repeat part is important, too. Often, your optimization won't have the impact you expect. You'll need to measure to be sure. If it doesn't, then you'll need to do another round of analysis to figure out why. Then optimize again. Another aspect of repeating is finding ways to prevent yourself from reintroducing the bottlenecks you just removed. A lot of bottlenecks, like render-blocking resources are cleanly written out as Lighthouse audits. If you found a big improvement from a Lighthouse audit, you'd consider writing a test on your continuous build to ensure that audit doesn't start regressing in the future.

It's so much fun to dig into performance bottlenecks and learn about what makes things slow. I can't wait to hear what you find.

Thank you so much, Annie. And I just want to say, if you're looking to make improvements to your performance of your website, it can seem overwhelming. There's plenty of materials out there and a lot of the steps are not as complicated as it might seem. And yes, at a certain point you might reach your limits and it's okay to ask for help.

Absolutely. And I think Annie works with Google. Google's really been leading the charge with this. And one of the things that was great about when the Core Web Vitals information started coming through was that Google provided us with lots of information. There's lots of information about different methodologies. There's lots of tools you can use, both within Chrome, within Google Search Console, within tools like Lighthouse, tools like PageFeed Insights, things like that. So there's lots of great tools there. And what Annie was saying about analyzing your information is really, really valuable. And I think that it's really important to look not just at the metrics, but actually at the pages. For instance, I've had it before where I was working on a site and the person said, "Oh, I've been trying to fix the cumulative layout shift for ages and we've been having all this trouble."

And I went into Google Search Console. I know I had a look at the trends, which pages were pulling up the same error. And I went to the page and I saw that the cumulative layout shift, it was very clear. They had their products in folders. And you would go to the page and all of the folders would show up where you could see all of them. And then they would all scrunch up into a burger menu straight afterwards. And I was like, "We need to pick one. We either need to put all of these at the bottom or we need to just go at the burger menu. But it can't be open and close, and open and close. That's ridiculous." And we did that and it fixed it. And we saw better results for users as well, because if you're a user and all you're getting is…

No, it's not.

So every page would just show that list on mobile, would just show the list of all of the categories rather than showing the actual products on the page. So it's better for users, because you've made that analysis. And also, she talked about testing afterwards. So that's really important, as well. So you make that change and then you monitor the results to see how users are actually engaging with that, if it's actually moving the needle, if it's actually making an impact. And then you refine and do it again. So she also mentioned Dan Shapir, who's a fantastic person to follow on the web performance space. There's some great people who are doing some great things in web performance. He's a great one, as well. So yes, I wholeheartedly agree with what Annie's saying about the test it again.

So I want to tell you an amazing story. Okay. It's a story of millions of websites suddenly got hit by a bolt of lightning and became supercharged beasters. Okay, it's a little bit hyperbolic. And it's not really my story to tell. But it's a fascinating story.

Inside joke. It wasn't Thunderbolt. Well, partially. But really, it's a fascinating story and the amount of work, dedication, ingenuity that went into improving Wix's Core Web Vital scores to make it at the point where it's a market leader, like 60% of our mobile sites in the US past Core Web Vitals it's incredible. And it was an incredible effort, honest, and personally, I just want to say I feel privileged to have been a small part of it back in the day to help advocate for driving these efforts and pushing these efforts in. But if anyone deserves the credit, it's people like Dan Shapir, who you just mentioned, who at the time was working at Wix and this man, Alon Kochba, Head of Web Performance at Wix. So join me and join Crystal as we go across the Wixverse to discuss with Alon how he and the team improve performance on many websites and where he thinks the future of web performance is headed.

How are you?

Everything is great. How are you?

Ah, we're good. Hanging out here. It's raining. It's a dreary day out here today.

Somebody told me it was raining. I was very surprised that it was raining. I've never heard anyone talk about rain.

Thank you. I'm officially an old person now. I talk about the weather.

Oh, I live in England. That's all they talk about.

So today, we're not talking about the weather. We're talking about performance. We've been talking about performance, all of us. And Alon, I mean, I know you're going to brush this off. And you're going to dismiss what I'm about to say, but if you take a look at Wix's CrUX data, and the Core Web Vitals, and what we've done there, it's amazing. Our numbers have improved tenfold. And I'm going to credit you with doing it.

It's me and a lot of other great people at Wix. And that's really been focusing on performance for a long time now.

It's true. And again, not taking away from you, it's been an enormous team effort across the entire company. I would say we're a performance first company across the board. But I'm curious, now that we have you here and we're talking to you about this, and you've been such a backbone behind the efforts, just what has it been like to try to improve performance for millions of websites? What have you done, obviously, without going too much into the technical nitty gritty of that, but it's more like how have you approached it?

So I think as the platform, we have an amazing opportunity where we're hosting millions of sites, like you said, and we're trying to solve a lot of technical challenges that a lot of site builders have, a lot of people have on their own sites, but do it at a massive scale. And it all starts with hosting and serving all your files from CDNs, and caching, and bringing everything close to the user. But it also has a lot of development teams building a lot of amazing products across of Wix that all need to tend with it. So basically, it's finding your opportunities and seeing how to go from there.

And I think there's lots of different layers to it. So you talked about different security performance and things like that. So do you work just with teams within Wix to achieve some of that change? Or are you working with teams who are external as well to see some of that progress?

So basically, I think a lot of things in Wix and a lot of those platforms, a lot of the things are up to us as a platform. And that means talking with a lot of development teams across Wix and pushing best standards internally. On the other hand, you have these things that are up to the user, because he can design his site however he wants. And at the end of the day, there are best practices and what kind of third parties you put on your site that can cause issues and how you design your pages. So it's basically split between both sides.

Which is what makes it a little bit interesting when you're trying to approach improving a website. It's not just, okay, it's on the development side of it, but also whoever, the designer of the SEO, whoever's creating the website, it's sort of a partnership between the two. And it's a partnership, as you mentioned before, with multiple teams here at Wix. And if you're not Wix, if you're, I don't know, you're working in an agency, you're working with designers, you're working with the content teams, you're working with developers. It's sort of just like one giant effort, because everything impacts performance. How do you manage that? Particularly here at Wix, we have so many parts of the product. And all of it, theoretically, can impact performance. How do you manage all that? How do you set expectations? How did you go about setting the bar so that the teams, when they're developing whatever they're developing or developing with performance first?

So I think at the end of the day, it's a numbers game. You can't fix everything. And they're always new performance opportunities. And you need to choose your battles. But we've been trying to first install all these guidelines and best practices across teams so it's in everyone's minds. And we've been trying to focus on the largest cases that handle the most sites and the most common use cases and working our way from there.

Out of curiosity, if you can pick one thing, I don't know, what's one thing that you've done at Wix that you've seen that you can share, maybe that people can take away as a lesson for their own sites, that we've done that's really moved the needle in terms of performance?

So I think at the end of the day, you really, first off, you want to serve your HTML as fast as possible. If the HTML is not fast, if it's not served from a server that's near your users, or in our case, everywhere, because we have users from a lot of distinct fundraise, you can't really succeed to performance if you don't have a fast TFB and fast FCPO, you'll have a very hard time passing Core Web Vitals. But then on the other hand, after the HTML arrives, you basically have your resources that are the LCP. And this has to do with how you build your site and what framework you're using. But go HTML. This is really the way to go today. Browsers are up to speed on a lot of standards and a lot of things can be built straight on the HTML. That's what we've been trying to do.

And so I think that comes a little bit to how Wix is structured. So you were talking about HTML, but a lot of people think of Wix and they think of JavaScript. How do you manage the JavaScript from a performance point of view?

So basically, all Wix sites are built on top of React. And we have a very extensive framework wrapping React internally. But React brings with it a lot of JavaScript dependencies. And that's something that we, like a lot of other companies, have been trying to avoid with a lot of best practices of preshaking, and lazy loading, and reducing bundle sizes. But we are looking forward at a lot of talk out there about little to no JavaScript solutions and alternative frameworks. In the past Wix was FLASH sites all over. And then we used the Angular. And these days we use React. And I think we do a great job of even exceeding the average React site. So yes, JavaScript arrives, but ideally JavaScript is there at least only for interactivity currently and not-

Sure. And it's my understanding that the HTML is server side rendered. Is that correct?

Yeah, so we use a server side rendering, but we also have extensive automatic caching for all our sites and CDNs. And we invalidate whenever something changes. For example, you buy your last product and the product needs to become out of stock, so something takes care of that for you.

And that's super simple to set up right? All of those things. And making sure that all of those things work seamlessly so that every time somebody comes to my little blog, they can see exactly what they need to see, and that it loads properly, and loads correctly. That's super easy, right? Alon, you make it look super easy.

Definitely. You don't even need to think about it. You built your site. You bought your domain. And you just get everything automatic. If you are using Velo, then there are cases where you need to turn it on manually, but.

Right, which is smart, by the way, because if you have a custom code there maybe doesn't make any sense to have it cached that way, because who knows what you have on the website?

Exactly. And we're a bit careful around custom code and caching.

I think you talked about some of the things that are built in. And there's some fantastic things within Wix for performance that I absolutely love, that we have. WebP is one of the sort of defaults for images. I think you shared an image on Twitter recently that was talking about how many WebP images we have proportionally, which I think is amazing. Is there a reason why you chose that particular one as being the main image format for Wix?

Yeah. So I think image formats are a very interesting area where a lot of people... JPEG and PNG have been around for tens of years and are not really as optimized as they should be. And WebP is really the alternative that currently is supported across all browsers. And you can see that a lot of companies and site builders are trying to move everything over to WebP. And we do that automatically. For order of our files are currently served as WebP, we automatically detect that the browser supports it or not. So that's great for users. I think with the LCP being three out of four times an image, you really need your images to be as small as possible and advanced modern image formats give you that.

Right. And that reminds me of another thing that's built in that I think is awesome, is that you have an automatic image compressor built into the CMS, which I think is awesome as well. I know that on some of those CMSs you have to download an extra plugin to have something that does that. But we have that built in, which I think is really cool.

It helps. It does help. I just wondered if you could also share with our team, I know that this is a bug bear for SEOs who log into Google Search Console and want to know what's going on with their Core Web Vitals. And there's a little sailing ship and you can't see. And it just says, "No." And there's a little sail ship that says, "You don't have enough traffic. Try again."

It says, "You're not good enough. Get more traffic."

"You're not good enough. Nobody comes to your website anyway." And you're like, "People come." And they're like, "No." So you get that little sailing ship and you get no data. And I just wondered if you could talk a little bit about the awesome solution that your team builds to help people to find some solutions for addressing Core Web Vitals that's in the WIX CMM.

Definitely. So this is a product I love that we have, the Site Speed Dashboard that really... Well, I'll start from top. We collect real user measurements. That's just like Chrome does for their users, we do for all our users. That's what we use internally to find opportunities and improve. But this allows us to measure your Core Web Vitals in all browsers and show it directly to each user. So in your Site Speed Dashboard, you can easily see the LCP, the CLS, the FID for each day. So if you do a change, you can see it instantly. And you can do it with a minimal amount of traffic.

And it's why we plugged it in the beginning of the show.

Sometimes you have more traffic and performance improves.

This is true. This is true. Increase your traffic and it will increase your performance.

So before we have to let you go, because I know your time is super sensitive, where do you think Google is heading with performance going forward? Because I don't think Google's already talked about IMP, responsiveness. The Core Web Vitals that we have now are not going to be the same. I don't think that was ever the intention for that to be a static thing. So I know you're in touch with Google. I know you work with them back and forth. Maybe you can share something that you're allowed to share that wouldn't get you in trouble.

But would be juicy for the audience?

You heard it here first.

Unfortunately, I don't have anything that juicy.

Okay. But directionally speaking, where do you see Google going forward in the future?

I think beyond hypothetically, I think Google are working hard to try to measure interactions better, which you talked about quite a bit with responsiveness and interaction to expand, which is something that we're heavily focused on. And you know what? I do have one juicy thing. Single-page navigations, so basically, Google has problems today measuring single-page apps. Basically, single page apps, like React, means you load one page and then you move to another page. You don't download the new HTML. You just redraw the things you need for the next page.

And Google doesn't measure those today. So basically, Wix has a React app that uses single-page navigations. We have even faster navigations because of this, but no one measures them. And Google is trying to now measure single-page apps. And ideally, they will be pushing this into CrUX if this works well. And that will even the playing field a bit between single-page apps and multi-page apps.

You heard it here first, people.

But you heard it from ….. already and it's just initial work.

You heard it here second, people.

But it's still juicy.

Thank you, Alon. We really appreciate all that you're doing. I don't know what you're doing half the time. You're a mystery to me still. But we do really appreciate everything that you and the entire performance team does.

Thank you very much and thank you for having me.

Thank you so much, Alon.

Again, thank you, Alon, for coming in. And definitely check out Alon on Twitter at A-L-O-N K-O-C-H-B-A. That's Alon Kochba on Twitter.

He does. He's brilliant. I mean, he's smarter than I am, which, I guess, is not saying much, but hey, check it out. He shares a lot of great information on Twitter, really important, great data. So check it out, for sure, which brings us to our next little segment. As this episode slowly ebbs away, let's get snappily to it with this Snappy News. Snappy News, Snappy News, Snappy News, let's jump right into this with something that was getting a bit of buzz in the SEO community from Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Roundtable, more from Google and AI content. It's about if the content is helpful.

So there was a whole Twitter conversation going on about AI written content and Google's helpful content update within which Google's Danny Sullivan, their official Search Liaison, chimed in saying, "We haven't said AI content is bad. We've said, pretty clearly, content written primarily for search engines rather than humans is the issue. That's what we're focused on. If someone fires up 100 humans to write content just to rank or fires up a spinner or AI, same issue." He then went on to say, "So if you are an SEO trying to figure out how AI fits into being successful or not on Google, you're too focused on the tool, not the content. Is the content you're producing helpful, reliable, and people-first in nature?" So two things here. One, Danny Sullivan is absolutely right. Don't get lost. Is it AI written content? Is it human written content for yourself? Focus on is the content on your site high quality content or is it just bad?

Two, and I want to take the liberty of reading in between the lines a little bit, if you'll indulge me. So the question that spurred this whole conversation on Twitter was, "Is the helpful content update specifically targeting AI content?" And what I think Danny's trying to tell us is they're targeting, they, meaning Google, targeting low-quality content? And included in that, is AI-written content, as a rule? I mean, sometimes it could be good in theory, but as a rule, AI-written content is low-quality content, particularly when it's long form. Maybe a product description will be different, whatever. I'm not getting into that right here and now. In other words, let's go back a step. Google has a problem. AI writers are prevalent. And they do create not the best content. So what do you think when Google launches a new algorithm that they're considering AI-written content? What do you think that Google's thinking?

We have this big problem in AI-written content. We're developing new technology, new algorithms, new whatever. They're not considering AI content? They're not thinking about it or "targeting" it? That seems kind of ludicrous to me at best and negligent on Google's part at worse. Of course, which by the way, they're not doing. Obviously, they're not being negligent. Of course, AI-written content is part of the equation. It's part of the Google mindset, part of the Google intent, part of what they're doing. But is what they're doing, let's say in the helpful content update, specifically targeting AI content? Dennis Sullivan says, "No, it's targeting all bad content." But again, subsumed under all bad content, is as a rule, AI-written content. So we're just kind of splitting hairs here, aren't we? And that is my lesson for you today. Outside of, write good content for your website that is high quality and not written by AI.

Sometimes the conversation around SEO within the SEO world are a little bit of a wormholes of hair splitting. Don't lose sight of the larger picture. Keep your eye on the prize. There are a whole bunch of other cliches about zooming out and keeping things in perspective. And with that piece of advice, that is this week's Snappy News. Before we duly depart, as is the custom on the SERP's Up Podcast and as very appropriate for this particular episode, we have somebody who you should be following on social media, who should be following this week, none other, formally known as Deepcrawl Lu Mar's own, Jamie Indigo.

Jamie Indigo, she's a fantastic follow on social media. She has a big heart and a very, very big brain. And she knows lots and lots of things about technical SEO. And she's fantastic. So there's lots of stuff. She shares lots of things about JavaScript and about lots of other parts of SEO that are really worth digging into. And she's also very generous with her knowledge. So she's happy to share insights and answer questions, as well. So she's a great person to follow.

And she actually wrote a lot about Core Web Vitals. I think there's a great article she wrote, if I remember correctly, back on Search Engine Journal, back in the early days of Core Web Vitals. So definitely have a look at that. I'll try to link to it in the show notes. She's written some amazing content about Core Web Vitals. She writes The Rich Snippets newsletter for Traffic Think Tank, so subscribe to that as well, which is not only just a conglomerate information from across the SEO world, but she has her own thoughts and insights in there. Definitely follow Jamie. She's also a master Dungeon & Dragons, from what I see on Twitter. I do not know Dungeon & Dragons, so I could be completely inaccurate here. But if that's your thing, then Jamie's your person, I think. Over at Twitter, it's at Jammer_Volts, so it's J-A-M-M-E-R_V-O-L-T-S. Link to it in the show notes.

So check it out and give her a follow, which means thank you for joining us on this SERP's Up Podcast. Are you going to miss us? Not to worry. We're back next week with a new episode as we dive into SEO reporting. Look for it wherever you consume podcasts or on the Wix SEO Learning Hub at Looking to learn more about SEO? Check out all the great content and webinars on the Wix SEO Learning Hub at, you guessed it, Don't forget to give us a review on iTunes or a rating on Spotify. Until next time, peace, love, and SEO.

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