Did Your Website Fail a Google Speed Test? (It’s Actually Not a Big Deal)

Have you received an email before that went something like this?

“Hi! We ran this free speed test on your website for you to see how your website was performing and unfortunately you have several issues with your website. There are many speed and optimization issues, which means your website isn’t performing as well as it should and it’s losing you business.”

The truth is that this email is a gigantic lie, but it’s designed to fill you full of doubt and strike the fear of God into you. Whether it’s the language they use in the email, or even the free PDF report they provide full of charts and graphs showing you what they found, it’s psychologically designed to manipulate you into thinking that you have something wrong with your website.

These reports are color coded and have manipulated X and Y axes to make you think things are worse than they are. Take your local weatherman for example. In the summer, the high temperatures in the 90s are marked by dark reds, while the nighttime lows are usually yellows or even blues or greens. In the autumn and winter, the same high temperatures are still red and orange even though they’re only in the 70s. It’s still psychological manipulation.

And that is what these cold sales emails are designed to do. They’re designed to pull you away from the vendors that you’re currently working with and to fill your head full of doubt, to break your trust with them, and to make you leave them and go work with this new company that sent you this email instead. But the one thing that you have to keep in mind about these sales emails is that they are preying on the fact that you have absolutely no idea what that data actually means.

And while you may be a very intellectual person, the reality is that unless you have a history in coding and website design, you’re not going to have any idea what any of this stuff means. You’re not going to know what enhanced JavaScript means. You’re not going to know what PHP optimization is. You’re not going to know what TTFB means. 

You’re not going to know what any of those metrics mean, but all you’re going to see is a minefield of unfamiliar terms. And in your mind, you’re trained to think, “Oh man, that’s red. That means something’s wrong. That means my website’s broken. That means this marketing company or this website designer that I’ve been working with has screwed me over and I’m not getting the value I was promised.”

But here’s the truth. Those tests and reports come from Google PageSpeed. And while those emails try to claim that Google is grading your website, punishing its rank and reputation because of underperformance, it’s just not true.

In fact, Google’s own properties do not score well on a Google page speed test. You can go run these tests yourself. You can test your own website, and you can test the biggest websites in the world—ESPN, Yahoo!, etc. However, definitely test YouTube, which is a Google-owned property and the second largest search engine online.

Guess what you’ll find? YouTube fails a Google PageSpeed test. That should tell you all you need to know about how this assessment that these vendors are trying to scare you with does not actually matter.

So the next time you get an alarming email, go ahead and junk it, or send them this blog post and let them know that you’re not as dumb as they think you are.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!

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