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Core Web Vitals Challenge: WordPress vs Everyone

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HTTP Archive (sister site to Archive.org aka Wayback Machine) published real-world statistics of which content management system (CMS) achieved the best Core Web Vitals scores. The results show that while there was one clear winner, the results show that performance was mixed among all of them.

The HTTP Archive challenge matched WordPress versus Drupal, Joomla, Squarespace and Wix.

Those five were chosen based on their status as the top five most popular content management systems.

Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals consists of three metrics that together attempt to provide a snapshot of what the page-level user experience is. The three Core Web Vitals metrics measure how long a site visitor has to wait until they can see the page and begin to make use of it.

The Three Core Web Vitals Metrics

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – Measures when the main content had downloaded, visible and useful to the site visitor.
  2. First Input Delay – How long a user has to wait for the site to react when interacting with a web page element like a link.
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift – Measures how long until the content stops shifting around and is stable enough to be successfully interacted with.

Mobile versus Desktop Performance

In general the desktop performance tended to be better than the mobile performance. This may be a reflection of the device’s ability to render a web page and the Internet network differences between a desktop and a mobile device, where a mobile device may have a slower experience.

The mobile Core Web Vital Scores are more important than the desktop scores because the majority of web page visitors access web pages with a mobile device. That is the reason why Google will in May 2021 use the mobile Core Web Vital scores for computing a ranking benefit for sites that have a passing Core Web Vitals score.

Desktop performance scores are important and not to be ignored. But it’s the mobile Core Web Vitals scores that are critical and matter the most.

Graph showing Core Web Vitals Desktop versus Mobile

Scores Explained

The scores are based on actual site visits by users on the Google Chrome browser. These are real-world scores.

The scores are divided between desktop and mobile sites. As explained above, desktop sites scored higher but mobile scores matter most.

Scores are expressed as percentages of websites that achieved a score of good for that particular metric. For example, a good score for Largest Contentful Paint is under 2.5 seconds.

So if a CMS scores 40%, that means 40% of websites had a good score.

Largest Contentful Paint

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a metric that measures when a web page is visible and useful to a site visitor.

The top ranked CMS for LCP is Drupal. The lowest ranked CMS is Wix.

While Drupal was the winner, the Drupal mobile LCP score was only 47%. This means that only 47% of mobile Drupal websites offered site visitors a good user experience in terms of Largest Contentful Paint.

Drupal is the winner but only because the other CMS scores were so bad.

These are the LCP scores

  • Drupal – 47%
  • Joomla – 38%
  • WordPress – 25%
  • Squarspace – 12%
  • Wix – 9%

CMS Scores for Largest Contentful Paint

First Input Delay

First Input Delay (FID) measures how long it takes from when a user interacts with a site to when the site responds.

The scores for FID were very high. Squarespace was the champion with a score of 91% of sites passed the FID test.

WordPress was close behind in second place while Wix continued to cling to last place.

These are the rankings:

  • Squarespace – 91%
  • WordPress – 88%
  • Drupal – 76%
  • Joomla – 71%
  • Wix – 46%

Top 5 CMS rankings for first input delay metric

Cumulative Layout Shift

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures how much web page elements like forms, buttons, text and images, etc. shift around. A web page that shifts around is a bad user experience because it’s hard to read text that is sliding up and down/left to right on the phone screen.

The winner was Drupal again, this time with a solid 70% of Drupal sites providing a quality CLS experience. Wix came in third place, narrowly beating WordPress, but not by much.

These are the rankings for CLS

  • Drupal – 70%
  • Joomla – 63%
  • Wix – 59%
  • WordPress – 57%
  • Squarespace – 44%

While Drupal and Wix might have cause to celebrate, HTTP Archive gave them all a wag of the finger. They observed that the average score for the lot on mobile was 59%.

That means that only 59% of websites using one of the top five CMS presented a good user experience for Cumulative Layout Shift on mobile devices.

This is how HTTP Archive explained it:

“The top 5 CMSs could improve here. Only 50% of web pages loaded by a top 5 CMS have a “good” CLS experience, with this figure rising to 59% on mobile.

Across all CMSs the average desktop score is 59% and average mobile score is 67%. This shows us all CMSs have work to do here, but the top 5 CMSs in particular need improvement.”

Winners and Less Than Winners

Drupal took the top spot twice and Wix took the held on to the bottom twice. WordPress and Joomla battled it out for somewhere in the middle, neither (relatively) nor (relatively) great.

The top five CMS scored decently for First Input Delay. But they turned in not so nice scores for Largest Contentful Paint and Cumulative Layout Shift.

This is important because Google’s making Core Web Vitals a ranking factor.

Even if that factor is a minor ranking factor, it’s still a ranking factor, which makes it important because it is one of the few ranking factors where it’s okay to openly try to influence it.

What makes this ranking factor difficult is that many of the changes necessary to score well in Core Web Vitals involve changes to how the CMS is coded.

That means that any changes to make a site perform better for Core Web Vitals should ideally be handled by the CMS developers and not the users of the CMS.

And that makes the users of WordPress, Drupal, etc less than winners because the resources and skills necessary to make these changes are not within reach of the every publisher.

Read More

HTTP Archive Chrome User Experience Report

Core Web Vitals Not Really Your Problem?

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NEWS

What can ChatGPT do?

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ChatGPT Explained

ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI that is trained on a massive amount of text data. It is capable of generating human-like text and has been used in a variety of applications, such as chatbots, language translation, and text summarization.

One of the key features of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is similar to human writing. This is achieved through the use of a transformer architecture, which allows the model to understand the context and relationships between words in a sentence. The transformer architecture is a type of neural network that is designed to process sequential data, such as natural language.

Another important aspect of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is contextually relevant. This means that the model is able to understand the context of a conversation and generate responses that are appropriate to the conversation. This is accomplished by the use of a technique called “masked language modeling,” which allows the model to predict the next word in a sentence based on the context of the previous words.

One of the most popular applications of ChatGPT is in the creation of chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation and can be used in customer service, sales, and other applications. ChatGPT is particularly well-suited for this task because of its ability to generate human-like text and understand context.

Another application of ChatGPT is language translation. By training the model on a large amount of text data in multiple languages, it can be used to translate text from one language to another. The model is able to understand the meaning of the text and generate a translation that is grammatically correct and semantically equivalent.

In addition to chatbots and language translation, ChatGPT can also be used for text summarization. This is the process of taking a large amount of text and condensing it into a shorter, more concise version. ChatGPT is able to understand the main ideas of the text and generate a summary that captures the most important information.

Despite its many capabilities and applications, ChatGPT is not without its limitations. One of the main challenges with using language models like ChatGPT is the risk of generating text that is biased or offensive. This can occur when the model is trained on text data that contains biases or stereotypes. To address this, OpenAI has implemented a number of techniques to reduce bias in the training data and in the model itself.

In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful language model that is capable of generating human-like text and understanding context. It has a wide range of applications, including chatbots, language translation, and text summarization. While there are limitations to its use, ongoing research and development is aimed at improving the model’s performance and reducing the risk of bias.

** The above article has been written 100% by ChatGPT. This is an example of what can be done with AI. This was done to show the advanced text that can be written by an automated AI.

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

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Survey says: Amazon, Google more trusted with your personal data than Apple is

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survey-says:-amazon,-google-more-trusted-with-your-personal-data-than-apple-is-–-phonearena
 

MacRumors reveals that more people feel better with their personal data in the hands of Amazon and Google than Apple’s. Companies that the public really doesn’t trust when it comes to their personal data include Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

The survey asked over 1,000 internet users in the U.S. how much they trusted certain companies such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon to handle their user data and browsing activity responsibly.

Amazon and Google are considered by survey respondents to be more trustworthy than Apple

Those surveyed were asked whether they trusted these firms with their personal data “a great deal,” “a good amount,” “not much,” or “not at all.” Respondents could also answer that they had no opinion about a particular company. 18% of those polled said that they trust Apple “a great deal” which topped the 14% received by Google and Amazon.

However, 39% said that they trust Amazon  by “a good amount” with Google picking up 34% of the votes in that same category. Only 26% of those answering said that they trust Apple by “a good amount.” The first two responses, “a great deal” and “a good amount,” are considered positive replies for a company. “Not much” and “not at all” are considered negative responses.

By adding up the scores in the positive categories,

Apple tallied a score of 44% (18% said it trusted Apple with its personal data “a great deal” while 26% said it trusted Apple “a good amount”). But that placed the tech giant third after Amazon’s 53% and Google’s 48%. After Apple, Microsoft finished fourth with 43%, YouTube (which is owned by Google) was fifth with 35%, and Facebook was sixth at 20%.

Rounding out the remainder of the nine firms in the survey, Instagram placed seventh with a positive score of 19%, WhatsApp was eighth with a score of 15%, and TikTok was last at 12%.

Looking at the scoring for the two negative responses (“not much,” or “not at all”), Facebook had a combined negative score of 72% making it the least trusted company in the survey. TikTok was next at 63% with Instagram following at 60%. WhatsApp and YouTube were both in the middle of the pact at 53% followed next by Google and Microsoft at 47% and 42% respectively. Apple and Amazon each had the lowest combined negative scores at 40% each.

74% of those surveyed called targeted online ads invasive

The survey also found that a whopping 82% of respondents found targeted online ads annoying and 74% called them invasive. Just 27% found such ads helpful. This response doesn’t exactly track the 62% of iOS users who have used Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature to opt-out of being tracked while browsing websites and using apps. The tracking allows third-party firms to send users targeted ads online which is something that they cannot do to users who have opted out.

The 38% of iOS users who decided not to opt out of being tracked might have done so because they find it convenient to receive targeted ads about a certain product that they looked up online. But is ATT actually doing anything?

Marketing strategy consultant Eric Seufert said last summer, “Anyone opting out of tracking right now is basically having the same level of data collected as they were before. Apple hasn’t actually deterred the behavior that they have called out as being so reprehensible, so they are kind of complicit in it happening.”

The Financial Times says that iPhone users are being lumped together by certain behaviors instead of unique ID numbers in order to send targeted ads. Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says that the company is working to rebuild its ad infrastructure “using more aggregate or anonymized data.”

Aggregated data is a collection of individual data that is used to create high-level data. Anonymized data is data that removes any information that can be used to identify the people in a group.

When consumers were asked how often do they think that their phones or other tech devices are listening in to them in ways that they didn’t agree to, 72% answered “very often” or “somewhat often.” 28% responded by saying “rarely” or “never.”

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