Page Speed Online: Google is Making You an SEO Expert

Page Speed Online: Google is Making You an SEO ExpertGuest blogger Lance Seidman writes:

Creating content for the Web can be sort of a difficult thing to do and, as more people try, it seems a lot of people aren’t having success trying to be content creators. You may notice, however, that more and more people are looking for work in the tech field as they feel it’s a more lucrative and ever-growing industry to get into — but maybe only because every day it’s being reinvented.

If you’ve never been in the tech industry or, more important, never learned or used any programming languages (Web or platform), programming for the Web and the many different aspects to it are going to obviously be something you may not really understand right away. Whether managing a website that is your own or doing it for someone else, you may be labeled as a webmaster. If you truly have zero experience and this is something you would like to make your job, you should either hire someone to assist you or get cracking on learning as it can make or break your future on the Web.

For a moment, think about what the word webmaster really means. Most likely this isn’t a foreign word to you by now. Is a webmaster the ultimate computer hacker who dominates the World Wide Web (WWW) by means both fair and foul? Absolutely not, and if this was a possibility you were considering as a definition, maybe you need to change career paths. The truth is, a webmaster is the person who is responsible in overseeing a website’s daily operations and ensuring that it runs smoothly for potential visitors and, it is hoped, repeat visitors.

Good webmasters should be quite efficient and knowledgeable in the Web programming languages being utilized for the site in their charge. As a webmaster, it is your job to ensure the website you’re “mastering” stays afloat at all times without any down time (or it will come back as being your fault). You must keep this website going with all of your might. If the website you’re representing has a broken link, an image that takes too long to load, database errors, or incorrect product displays — and these problems keep coming back — you’re going to be mastering the unemployment line soon and the website you were just fired from most likely won’t provide you with a good recommendation for hire on your next hopeful position.

If you’re not scared, you should be. It is extremely important to make sure the website for which you’re a webmaster runs seamlessly and without issues. It’s really a good idea to have some form of pre-existing programming skills or at least enough for the basics in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP, but the fact is that you need to be ready for anything — and this is especially true when you’re the webmaster for someone else. Always stay alert and ahead of the curve as someone who could be younger (read: cheaper) and maybe even better is out on the Web right now looking to cash in or get a job — your job. You may know the type: someone who is trying to prove that his or her age has nothing to do with their skillset and they decide to contact your superior to point out all of the things wrong with the website and how they can improve upon your imperfect work.

This is why it’s important to stay on top of the game. Luckily, resources exist to make you the best of the best — or at least still worthy of employment over Machiavellian geeks who just want to usurp your cubicle.

To succeed, a website’s content must show up when people are looking for it in their search engine of choice. SEO (search engine optimization) is the ever-evolving and adapting science of making sure that people can easily find (and visit and revisit) your website. Good use of keywords, easy navigation within an appealing design, speedy page loads, and visibility on mobile devices are just a few things to consider when you’re trying to cultivate and optimize your website’s viewership. But there are differing degrees to which each can be tweaked to ensure that people can find your site over all of the other ones out there.

For instance, it is extremely important to use the right keywords in your content, but many webmasters don’t realize that there is a limit to how — and how many — keywords should be used (and the standards dictating the proper use of keywords constantly change).

Another factor to consider is that, often, less is more. If your website depends on JavaScript goodies and other plugins to get its message out, then you should be prepared for them to break every now and again. If they’re not implemented properly, a visitor may be greeted by unfriendly error messages and decide to go visit one of those other sites they found in Google, instead — never to return to yours.

Google has taken notice that not everyone is up to date on the latest Web technologies, and is trying to address the common outcry from webmasters that their websites — no matter how deserving — never show up at the top of search results no matter how hard they try.

As a webmaster, you want your website to show up on top of a search engine’s page results. Tons of fly-by-night operations exist and try to convince you that, if you pay top dollar, they can put you on the top. It is impossible to guarantee that you will be on top and you’re foolish if you believe that some company can put you in front of someone else on the results page; Google can’t even offer this — unless you buy ad space and outbid others for these prime, sponsored spots.

Many people think that a Google employee is looking at each and every page — out of billions — on the Web somehow hourly, but it’s all performed with artificially intelligent (AI) Google bots, and this is how Google can cover the Web so quickly.

The bots will determine if your website is suitable for a specific search result. If keywords and content don’t match up, it can potentially ruin your chances of showing up on that coveted search engine front page. And depending on how desperate you are and the horrible tactics you may try, you could get blacklisted — especially if you try to hide bogus keywords in an attempt to climb on top. If your website’s actual content doesn’t use the same — or close to the same — words in context, your site is viewed as spam and will likely not show up in relevant search results (or, at least, not for long). There’s an old saying: “When you try to be a pig, you’ll get slaughtered.”

Tip: Don’t try to add so many keywords to one sentence of your website’s content in a way that causes it to no longer make sense. Even trying to include words or phrases in odd spots of your website may raise a few AI eyebrows and cause your site to get blacklisted. Hiding words on your website to keep your keywords somewhat similar to your content won’t be successful as Google crawlers/bots are smarter than that. Even if you try different stylesheets to hide/make words transparent in hopes for better ranking or better visibility is a poor idea.

So maybe you’re thinking at this point that now you don’t know as much as you thought you knew about SEO or being a good webmaster. Perhaps you’re getting discouraged? If you are, this may not be the field for you. Contrary to what people on the outside looking in may think, being a webmaster is one of the hardest and constantly fluctuating jobs available today. While programming languages hardly change, revisions in Web languages do occur. Many aspects of CAD/graphic design have been around for as long as there’s been a printing industry, but Web technologies always get facelifts. The good news for the stability of a wannabe webmaster’s job outlook is that most people don’t have the time to be on top of everything, and it’s really impossible to be on top as a one-man (or woman) show.

An automated all-in-one tool that is going to make you the best at what you do without the necessity for extensive knowledge must not exist, right? Well, wrong again. Page Speed Online is a small website that seeks to fill the gaps in your knowledge of Web technologies and could be the terrific tool you’re looking for. As a bonus, it’s completely free of charge!

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Google, the Search Engine King, developed it. The site is constantly re-creating a fully automated checkup of your website that not only will give you a score of your site’s performance on the Web, but also a mobile score. It gives you solutions to resolve your issues and meet the 100% butt-kicking website potential you’re supposed to be offering. Once you simply input your website address and hit the Analyze button, you will be given results almost instantly. This will certainly keep you on top of the game and maybe even keep that pesky outsider from trying to steal your job. More important, you’re helping create a better and more stable website experience that will be surely be almost priceless to your visitors and, ultimately, the website you represent.

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  • http://www.caseyfrennier.com/ Casey Frennier

    YSlow is a good plugin for chrome that does the same thing.

    • http://lance.compulsivetech.biz/ Lance Seidman

      Not quite. Yes, YSlow will do a dozen+ items but it also requires Chrome (platform-dependent). I personally don’t use Chrome. I have and it was uninstalled almost as fast I installed it (it was a long time since I built from source, bad joke).

      However to me it really doesn’t come close to how much more developed Google’s site is and it goes based off of Google’s best practice, not Yahoo! and let’s be honest? I care more about what Google says.

      I do appreciate your input, very nice of you to share!

      • http://www.caseyfrennier.com/ Casey Frennier

        They are both (very obviously) based on research Steve Saunders did. He used to work for Yahoo! now he does this at Google.  Page Speed Online is probably the more up to date tool but they are both probably going to tell you nearly the same things.

        http://stevesouders.com/about.php

        If you’re a chrome user you can click this and not miss out on much if anything at all.

  • Miranda Eubanks

    I didn’t know about Page Speed, thank you!

    • http://lance.compulsivetech.biz/ Lance Seidman

       Good luck with your websites!

  • http://randoomblog.blogspot.com/ Shockgrubz

    I used it and found some things that were useful! Very nice!

    • http://lance.compulsivetech.biz/ Lance Seidman

       I’m thrilled to hear it worked out for you… Were you able to correct your issue(s)?

  • Flyn Cooley

    I got a 84 out of 100 for the360spin.com – pretty good right? I’ll have to check out this tutorial for “Specifying an Expiration date”… https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/best-practices/caching

    thanks for the cool tip!