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Google is now testing “Slow to load” labels, with little yellow warning signs next to the slow to load results.

Google has touted the importance of mobile performance of websites over the past few years, this label suggests that Google is taking website performance and specifically that on mobile devices very seriously. This label could be potentially a game-changer for those who care about the performance, user experience and SEO of your website.

What does google consider a “Slow Website”?

A load time of anything significantly over 4.5 seconds could be the trigger for a “slow” label. Or it could be ranking the website speed based on similar or competing websites.

So what do you do?

Run a PageSpeed Test and a Mobile Friendly Test and have a look at your test results.

Here are the most common suggestions:

Compress Images

Start with the first image identified in the Page Speed test and resize and compress it. Re-run the test and see how it affects your score.

Leverage browser caching

Browser caching has a lot to do with setting an expiration date or a maximum age in your HTTP headers for resources which tell the browser to load previously downloaded resources instead of grabbing them from the network again, thereby saving your bandwidth and accelerating the loading of the site.

Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content

Try to defer or asynchronously (async) load blocking resources, or inline the critical portions of those resources directly in the HTML.

Enable compression

This is a relatively easy fix. Most servers have this installed and compression should be easy to activate.

Minify JavaScript

This can get tricky. If your javascript is wonky or loaded in the wrong order, it can break your website. There is a lot of work involved on a script by script basis to get this minification process to work properly. However if it gets your website to load faster, then by all means, its worth the sweat and tears.

Avoid SLOW Ad Networks

Many times, your website will load at blazing speeds, only to be held up by a pixel that won’t load from some shady third-party Ad network or “analytics” company. This may slow your site down past the 4.5 second load time and earn you that horrible “slow to load” label. Drop them. It’s not worth it. Find another solution.

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