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Page layout impacts on speed and indexability

     
4:06 am on Jul 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I recently posted in another thread
Could making pages load faster inadvertently damage your rankings?
[webmasterworld.com...]

And my post gave me an idea which I would like to validate.

First my problem (as stated in the other post), in order to increase page speed I have delayed rendering so SVG graphics until after the user scrolls. The SVG contains content that I assume Google is able to crawl and index. I had initially thought that the gain in page speed would offset any benefit provided by the added content. But after a few weeks with no positive results I am really starting to question my logic.

So now, I thought, why don't I properly lazy load the content using pushState and a url for each graph or sub-section.

Let me backup and explain the page. The page provides stats and ratings of events. So for each event I accumulate some data and then generate a page. The top of the page, the main content provides a description of the event and a rating that is computed based on the data and stats shown further down the page, a summary. Below this I provide graphs on some relevant statistics for the events, like "top number of widgets sold", "most popular widgets offered", etc.. I typically have about 8 such sections. Each section has one interactive chart (SVG) and a brief written summary specific to the content of the chart.

If I view this from a very basic perspective, that is if I took each subsection and made it its own page, I would be concerned that the content could be thin. It would be a terrible UX for sure so that is not a real option. But if I treat each subsection as its own page, but lazy load it like a single page app (Fb,twitter time, cnn etc...), each subsection would get its own url, but the ux would be similar to what it is now.

Google could have access to all the content of the page when it crawls it, as opposed to now where some of the content remains hidden. Moreover it may consider subsection content as main content as opposed to secondary content to the main page. So it may give more weight to a query such "what are the highest number widgets sold at event xyz" and it would take the user directly to the content as opposed to the top of a page that shows the content well below the fold.

So what do you think? Change to a "Lazy load - pushState - SPA" type layout or leave it as is and hope that users will someday show-up?

Note to the lazy-load, SPA nay-sayers out there (I know you are out there!) the actual page layout will likely not change much from its current state. So I am not planning on making the whole site into an SPA.
6:40 am on July 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What is the full bore (no slowdowns) to show all content all at once vs the proposal? Are we talking MINUTES or handful of seconds?

As for G, feed them everything all the time (same for B and anyone else, too) if you want FULLY indexed pages that might generate traffic. Never assume they can read it. Make sure they CAN read it.

What is your audience access speed? dialup, dsl, wifii, broadband?

But after a few weeks with no positive results I am really starting to question my logic.


Rightfully so.

From a user point of view I don't know what is worse, taking time to load it, or, having spent time to scroll down and THEN have to wait for content....
4:34 pm on July 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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How do you know that loading speed is the main problem? There are plenty of slow sites that have high google rankings.

Loading speed is only one factor, and probably not as important as some of the other factors like backlinks and content quality..
5:42 pm on July 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Tangor
What is the full bore (no slowdowns) to show all content all at once vs the proposal? Are we talking MINUTES or handful of seconds?

We are talking seconds. I am at 4 seconds with current set-up which is rated as good (testmysite) for my niche, 8 seconds would be the limit upper bound for fair. Based on performance measures in Chrome dev tools, I should be able to load the whole page with 8 seconds. I should probable test that loading all at once to be sure.

What is your audience access speed?

I am assuming it will mostly be US mobile.

@aristotle
How do you know that loading speed is the main problem? ....
Loading speed is only one factor, and probably not as important as some of the other factors like backlinks and content quality..


I don't know, and it probably isn't the main problem but page speed is easy to test and to control.

Backlinks, there are none, the site is new and with no traffic coming from Google obtaining links is going to be a slow and long process.

As for content quality I am pretty confident that the quality is high and unique. To my knowledge I have not seen any other sites offering what I am offering. A few sites provides some stats but it is poorly executed and it is limited in scope and generally it is included as an after thought to their main business (a part of the business that I do not partake in).
12:39 am on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Backlinks, there are none,


That's not going to help, a site with no votes (links) you can't code your way out of.
1:58 am on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Chicken and the egg. Without the visibility afforded by Google rankings other sites a very reluctant to link to you, without the links no rankings.

This is for me, at this point in time my biggest challenge. I built a site, I know its good (maybe not perfect but good) but I need users to convince users that the site is good. I'm stuck! But once it starts rolling it show grow on its own.
6:42 am on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Is it the lazy load of content what sets your site apart from the competition? Do note I am not saying DON'T do that, just asking.

As a user looking for info/data, I am willing to let the site LOAD the data, but having to wait a second load while scrolling would be about as welcome as jittery ads loading late... Sometimes appearance is everything.
12:53 pm on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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To be fair, nothing annoys my more than waiting for stuff to load as I scroll.

In-browser PDF renderings are the worst- I automatically download then delete when I'm done.

It's even worse when you need to click and/or hover, and stuff moves about as you aim.

That said, I do frequently abandon a site if the first click takes an age to load. I'm not sure what my limit is, but I suspect I would not wait 8 seconds.

My wife says I'm very impatient :/
4:39 pm on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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NickMNS -- Here's a method I used to use to get an initial backlink to a new site:

-- Go to wordpress.com and create a free blog (Don't use a gmail address)

-- Write a blog post on a subject related to your website, and include a link to your site.

That's it. Of course if you want a better link, you can write a few more posts, say one a month. But then you can abandon the blog.

I stopped link-building 5 or 6 years ago, but if I were to launch a new site, that's what I would do.
5:57 pm on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@aristotle thanks for the tip, but how does a link from one new website to another help? Linking from a site with 0 link juice has no benefit (in theory).
6:46 pm on July 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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NickMNS --
I forgot to mention that at wordpress.com, when you make a post you can choose categories and keywords to integrate it into the wordpress.com website.

Also, if I remember correctly , google's algorithm gives every new site a little PR juice as a "gift".
6:15 pm on Aug 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just a quick update here.
@aristotle I created a word press blog, added one post with a link. I will add more in the coming days. But so far as I can tell, Google has not indexed the page (site:subdomain.wordpress.com) shows no results. Any idea on how to get it indexed without creating a GSC account?

I removed the on scroll delay for the rendering of the SVG graphs, the speed test still comes as good. So I will see if it impacts my rankings. Oddly enough in fetch and render the graphs show up in the Googlebot view but not the user view. In reality the users sees them regardless because they are below the fold so even if there is a slight delay by the time the user scrolls the rendering has had time to complete.
6:50 pm on Aug 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Instead of site:subdomain.wordpress.com,
try the actual URL:
https://subdomain.wordpress.com

If it's not indexed, that might help to get it indexed.
7:08 pm on Aug 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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P.S. It's been a long time since I did this myself, but I seem to remember that they have an option somewhere for "submit to search engines". Also, if you choose categories and keywords, googlebot should eventually find it that way.

Anyway, I don't remember having any problems with this when I did it, so not sure what your problem is. Or maybe google is just slower now when adding pages to its index.
8:17 pm on Aug 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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There is no way to explicitly ask to have the page added to the index through wp. WP states that it will be done automatically unless you explicitly ask them not to (hidden or private settings). But I set up the account about a week ago without updating anything so I afraid Google crawled and said "parked WP site" and now is reluctant to return or to consider it. I guess like all things Google I just have to hurry up and wait!
8:17 pm on Aug 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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on GSC : [google.com...]
8:59 pm on Aug 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Any idea on how to get it indexed without creating a GSC account?


creating a GSC account for this might give away the fact that you built the link yourself