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Google says AdSense is slowing my site down!

this is getting just goofy now

     
1:31 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So I log into GWT, look at the new site speed thingy. It says our average speed is 2 seconds per page. Not bad but not what our other external speed tests have told us which is 1.5 seconds per page.

Anyhow it gives us suggestions on how to speed up our pages! Guess what it says is slowing down our pages?

AdSense! Not the other advertising on our site, not design, not the server which is hosted at one of the best colos in the country. No its adsense which is slowing down our website!

Guess I know what I have to do to speed up our website so we get better search ranking since this is now a ranking factor!

1:59 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ahhh yes. Lovely how google is derating its own products. I've been given the suggestion to gzip google analytics.
2:17 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Seems fair - these things do slow down websites.

For anything served from a third party website it is best practice to ensure your page will load if the third party server fails. For Adsense that can be achieved by making a space for it with CSS or similar rather than requiring the browser to load it before it can figure out where to put everything else.

I'm sure you are doing that already (I know others aren't). I'm sure that's why they are taking it into account.

I can't talk. My own pages are currently taking 3 hours to load and counting. Something caught fire again.

2:25 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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i'm not worrying about it too much. i seem to be having the same problem as you because the tool suggested that one of my pages was taking 5 seconds to load... but when i check the exact same page on other speed tools online, it comes up about 1 and a half seconds to two seconds, which is less than half what google says it is.

i'm guessing these other online tools dont run the adsense code. and i've never seen it take so long when i visit the page myself. the figures in google's tool don't seem to be correct.

3:10 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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True. I was about opening a thread about that a while ago. Just for fun try to measure all the kb on your page that are adsense ads-codes, is big. In fact is funny all the hours I spent optimizing my websites only to put some extra kb of adsense
3:25 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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In this post they explain how they gater that data:

[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

I switched to Adsense code from Admanager code (it is much faster)
Implemented new (and beta) Asynchronous Tracking Code
Removed other 3rd party tracking codes

3:40 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've been testing the new Asynch Analytics code, and it does seem to speed things up. Google has been putting a real push on site speed in the last month, so I'm hoping that they're going to come up with a way to serve AdSense a little faster.

The slowest thing I found were actually various social media buttons. I'm just going to have to make my own.

4:19 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It's telling me that both AdSense and Analytics are slowing my load times.

It's not mentioning the Kontera stuff though.

4:35 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It just riles me up, they come out and say that site speed is now going to play in ranking for search.

Thats fine and I can understand them taking that into ranking but geeze if your going to rank other peoples products you may want to make sure your own product is fast to.

What exactly are we supposed to do now? Are we going to loose search rankings due to googles ad serving performance which we have no control over?

This just doesnt make any sense to me, they should be ignoring adsense ad code in page speed calculations period.

6:25 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Take adsense off and they say put more on, put them on....now they want us to take them off.

Shoot us in the left foot, now they shoot us in the right

10:28 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So if I understand correctly to have a fast, well-ranked site we need to remove AdSense and Analytics? Sorry, I'm not taking AdSense off...
1:47 am on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I only deal with ads on Google's Content Network, so this is pretty far outside my comfort zone. But the last thing I want is for you guys to think your ads aren't fast, so I asked around. Here's what I heard back:

"The Page Speed suggestions on Webmaster Tools are based on the content served to Googlebot. In this case, AdSense serves the javascript uncompressed to Googlebot, but does actually compress it with gzip for regular users. So, the AdSense javascript is already optimized for your site's users. AdSense works very hard at making sure that it doesn't slow down the page load."

And also this:

"We are changing AdSense to send compressed content to our Googlebot so that the recommendation in Webmaster Central accurately reflects how AdSense works."

So to recap, AdSense is fast and we're working on making sure AdSense plays nicely with Webmaster Tools.

ASA

2:08 am on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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AA, We are told at [google.com...] that this info is collected..."It is collected directly from users who have installed the Google Toolbar and have enabled the optional PageRank feature"
2:18 am on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks ASA for looking into this. I understand now what is going on.

Great to know this will be taken out of the tools calculations in GWT and not counted against pageload time.

Thanks again ASA.

5:51 am on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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How to

# Start Firefox.
# Select Tools > Firebug > Open Firebug.

I have only the German version of Firefox and can not find out how to do this.

11:04 am on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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So now it's Feb 24th. That data below was acquired today, but, I wonder how old the data really is!
I see the google-analytics javascript holding up many websites. Javascript file loading blocks page rendering. Adsense fetches a bunch!
Also, all Google Adsense needs is a function call to the javascript for each ad not an additional loading of the javascript. (Yes it comes for cache but this slows rendering also!)

If publishers could modify the code our sites would be much faster!

Google now fetches for each page with Adsense:

sma6.js (Scroll bars for ads)
test_domain.js (How to fetch showads.js. Appears to be unneeded)
expansion_embed.js (Haven't looked into this one!)
Also:
Images that could just be text (Ads by Google)
:http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/abglogo/abg-en-100c-000000.png (I guess this is equivalent to a watermark)

Then for each ad or link unit:
A "GET" to googleads.g.doubleclick.net

I wish they would please clean this mess up, only one javascript fetch is needed. And of course it should be gzipped! (Most of Google's javascripts are gzipped, just not analytics, I guess)


Details: Save up to 13.7 KB, 2 DNS lookups
Enable gzip compression
Compressing the following resources with gzip could reduce their transfer size by 13.7 KB:

* Go to URL:http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js (13.7 KB)

Minimize DNS lookups
The domains of the following URLs only serve one resource each. If possible, avoid the extra DNS lookups by serving these resources from existing domains:

* Go to URL:http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js
* Go to URL
I do hope at least for now this statement is accurate
Webmaster Tools Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that aren't quite ready for primetime. They may change, break or disappear at any time.
8:39 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I've noticed Adsense querying yet another domain! This query is embedded in the code in the Adsense IFrame.

:http://csi.gstatic.com/csi?v=3&s=pagead&action=load,iframe2&it=smajs.211,abg.635,req.8,fb.1029,e2e.2268&e=&rt=1ad.10,lb.656,ol.1239

This requires yet another DNS fetch to another domain, very inefficient.

Just a note I use text ads exclusively. I've never had much luck with image ads, they are very slow, delay rendering, and really don't pay well. Could just be my site(s) type of extensive content. Text ads and link units work well.

And I think Adsense may querying yet another domain.

This is getting to be way too much overhead. All of this could be much more streamlined speeding up all sites using Adsense.
8:43 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sorry I haven't read the entire thread, but I'm wondering if you switch to text-only ads does it result in less DNS calls, hits, etc.?
9:04 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's been a month or so since I last looked at my page speed. I cannot remember exactly what it was, but I do remember it stating that it was 75% faster than other sites.

I have just looked now, and it takes 2.9 seconds and now faster than 51% of sites.

I've changed nothing [but update the odd page] on the site in that time.
11:58 pm on Feb 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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As a follow-up to my question, I switched my main 160x600 ad unit from text&image (where I saw image ads 99% of the time) to text-only. The ads seem to load faster which is good. Now to see if CPM/CTR changes ;-) I'm going to run a test and see if that resulted in less DNS lookups...
1:28 am on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I agree with bumpski above. While it is all well and good that the AdSense JS files are sent to users gzipped, but there is way too much serialization with AdSense scripts with way too many JS files being requested. Also some of the more "static" elements of AdSense ads need to be made cachable (e.g. the Google logo, navigation arrows and any static JS files so that this stuff is cached from site to site that has AdSense ads. Google reducing AdSense serialization, streamlining JS code and making as much cachable as possible could help shave up to one second off of my page load times.
10:29 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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2.14 seconds without Adsense, 6.97 seconds with Adsense. Time to clean it up, Adsense!

I did a detailed analysis of Adsense performance on one of my sites. I'm not really surprised at the enormous overhead of Adsense.

The page I analyzed had a total of about 62K of original text content unzipped, truly about four pages of text, including navigation headers and footers. (All my content is GZIPPED)

Because of the large amount of content, this page dynamically chooses to show 3 Adsense TEXT tower units in one column and 3 Link Units. The format is similar to the Google SERPs, ads in a unobtrusive column, and link units mostly on the footer. For my sites, smaller pages dynamically show fewer Ad Units. (Link Units at the bottom of the page do add a twinge of income! Try it.)

So for my 62K of original CONTENT; Adsense required 139.5K of downloaded scripts and data to show 15 text ads and 3 Link Units. Each Ad Unit might consist of about 17 words! Each Link Unit might have about 14 words to display. So to show a total of 297 characters of text Adsense downloaded 139,500 bytes of data.

Yes some of this overhead may be cached, but for most websites it's the FIRST IMPRESSION that counts. There's no caching for the first impression!

It works out to 69% of the page load time is due to Adsense!

69% of the bytes downloaded are due to Adsense! This page that loads in 6.97 seconds on a DSL connection would load in 2.14 seconds without Adsense!

I hate to think about what Adsense is doing to Dial Up users! One Third of US Internet Still at Dialup Speed [webmasterworld.com]

With a trivial alteration to the Adsense "code", we all insert in our pages, 719 milliseconds of download time could be eliminated. Adsense needlessly queries the "Not Modified" status of the show_ads.js file multiple times. THIS IS A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME. It's also needless extra load on the Adsense servers!

Adsense is loading an incredible amount of javascript for a simple task. There's even javascript embedded in the Ad Unit data itself! I know, I know, I could execute all this Adsense scripting server side, but that is inefficient in many other ways.

Please ASA, I have a detailed spreadsheet breaking this all down. I'd be happy to send you a copy.

One thing Adsense knows is the faster a page renders the more earnings it produces. But Adsense keeps loading the Units down with Tweaky features; Time to stop, and slim down!

I have to thank the creator of the Firebug tool facilitating the collection of this detailed data.
11:18 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Using Opera v10.10 Dragonfly on a 10mbps Internet connection, a page on my site without ads takes 1.3 seconds to load. With ads (3 AdSense and 2 Chitika) pages take 3.4 seconds to load. That is a significant difference.
11:35 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Having watched and read the ASAs that have posted here under that nick since I joined ..I dont think that they would understand what you were talking about Bumpski ..anymore than the PR "welcomers" at any tech facility anywhere world wide understand what the people in the backrooms are doing ..

However ..they may "pass it back up" ..or "let the team know" ..which is what they usually say ;)
11:58 pm on Feb 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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IMHO, 2 seconds is a bit slow. My fastest site runs around 0.6 seconds per page, including scripts, AS text-ads, and stylesheets. And that is a fetch from another continent (From EU to US). But then, for that site speed has always been a high priority.

However, the Adsense weight (32.7 KB) is twice that of the HTML of the page (14 KB), which is a real page with real informative text-based content. My page speed could have been 0.2 seconds witout AdSense, so it's a weight increase by 300%

The amount of text displayed in the AdSense ads is less than 5% of the text on the page, possibly as little as 1%!

So, whatever AdSense is, it's certainly not built for speed. AdSense is s-l-o-w.

What on earth is AdSense using all that JavaScript for? That's totally out of proportion. I didn't realize until I saw this thread and ran a test. Now I'm pretty angry. This is outrageous. However, at the moment I have no realistic alternative, except running ad-free.
2:10 am on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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claus, I think the alternative is regular ad networks but they suck because they're image ads. So it's lose-lose here unless GOOG "walks the walk" and makes AdSense fast, fast, fast. Kind of hypocritical don't you think, they tell you your site should be faster to be a better experience but they slow your site down...
4:15 am on Feb 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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What on earth is AdSense using all that JavaScript for? That's totally out of proportion. I didn't realize until I saw this thread and ran a test. Now I'm pretty angry. This is outrageous. However, at the moment I have no realistic alternative, except running ad-free.

Yep, the amount of serialization and code in ad code like AdSense is frustrating, however, like you said the only alternative is to go ad free. That kind of is not going to happen as it is ad revenue that allows me to keep working on my site rather than getting a "real" job.
10:33 am on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Incredible! All references to Adsense performance problems are gone from "Webmaster Tools - Site Performance"
BUT, all the performance problems still exist!

It appears Adsense has influenced webmaster tools not to show anything related to Adsense performance issues!

It works out to 69% of the page load time is due to Adsense!

69% of the bytes downloaded are due to Adsense! This page that loads in 6.97 seconds on a DSL connection would load in 2.14 seconds without Adsense!
So for my 62K of original CONTENT; Adsense required 139.5K of downloaded scripts and data to show ....


Adsense inefficiencies summary:
Javascripts:
show_ads.js --------(Original Script now very large!)
sma6.js ------------(Scroll bars for ads)
test_domain.js -----(How to fetch showads.js. Appears to be unneeded)
expansion_embed.js -(Haven't looked into this one!)

Unnecessary GETS:
Up to 5 unnecessary references to the showads javascript. (This is a complete waste of time!)

Images:
:http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/abglogo/abg-en-100c-000000.png (Used to be text)
:http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/badge/checkout_000000.gif (Shopping cart. Free ad for Google!)

Domains:
googleads.g.doubleclick.net
pagead2.googlesyndication.com
csi.gstatic.com/csi
Used to be one domain.

Finally Google Analytics was also reported as a performance issue. Perhaps it's fixed? (I deleted it from all my sites)
Details: Save up to 13.7 KB, 2 DNS lookups
Enable gzip compression
Compressing the following resources with gzip could reduce their transfer size by 13.7 KB:

* Go to URL:http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js (13.7 KB)
2:01 pm on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think there are still issues with this tool. It is in the "Labs" section, which means it's still under development. It tells me I should gzip compress my site to speed it up. My site IS gzip compressed.

It shows the average time downloading a page in the other section is 475, which is high due to a server that was failing and was replaced last month. The minimum time is much lower, and should be more representative of the average.

I did ask a friend who is still on dial-up to check my site, and he said it seems to load faster than it did, and is generally faster than other sites he looks at. Not scientific, but he said the time it takes to download my pages isn't excessive in his opinion.

I think this tool still needs a bit of work.