Connect with us

NEWS

Jetpack Boost – A Web Vitals WordPress Plugin

Published

on

The Jetpack Boost plugin is available at the official WordPress.org plugin repository, currently in version 0.9.19. It may be available in a complete version 1.0 release within the next week or so.

Jetpack Boost will continue to be free, including new features that may be added in the future. There also may be additional premium features that automate certain functions but the goal of the plugin is to be useful, regardless if it’s the free or premium version.

Jetpack Boost

According to Automattic, the plugin is not meant for a live production site. It is currently available for download as a pre-release software for testing purposes on a testing site. It’s an alpha stage software for testing purposes.

The goal for Jetpack Boost is to provide an easy solution for giving WordPress websites a boost in user experience metrics related to speed and core web vitals.

Some WordPress plugins designed to improve speed metrics require some technical knowledge to use to their full potential.

Jetpack Boost however is meant to be an easy one-click solution for speeding up a site. While the current alpha version will speed up three areas, Boost may be expanding to more features, particularly as the developers receive more feedback.

Screenshot of Jetpack Boost Dashboard

Screenshot of Jetpack Boost dashboard

Screenshot of Jetpack Boost dashboard

Features of the Jetpack Boost Plugin

The new Jetpack website speed optimization plugin has three main features that may grow to include more.

Advertisement
  1. Local Critical CSS
  2. Defer Non-essential JavaScript
  3. Lazy Image Loading

1. Local Critical CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is code (instructions) that tells the browser how to style a web page. CSS manages how wide a web page is, what colors are used for fonts, dictates the size of images and essentially everything that has to do with how a web page is meant to look.

CSS is also a render blocking resource. This means that a web page cannot be displayed (rendered by the browser) until it the CSS is fully downloaded and made available to the browser.

Critical CSS is a technique for creating the perception of a fast loading web page by extracting CSS that is critical for displaying content above the fold (what users see first without scrolling) and inlining it (which means to place the CSS within the web page code itself as opposed to in a separate file).

The Local Critical CSS module also uses the asynchronous attribute so that the CSS file itself does not block the rendering of the web page by the browser.

Eliminating render blocking resources helps a web page score better with various Google Page Experience metrics.

Eliminating render blocking resources is an important way to improve user experience and achieve better Core Web Vitals scores.

2. Defer Non-essential JavaScript

Defer, in this instance, is a reference to a JavaScript attribute.

In HTML, an Element is like a basic building block of a web page, like the JavaScript element, Paragraph element (denoting a paragraph of text) or the Link element.

An attribute is something that modifies an HTML Element. For example, with the Link element (a building block of a web page) the “nofollow” Link attribute changes the behavior of a link by telling search engines to not follow the link.

Advertisement

For the JavaScript element, there is a defer element. The defer element tells the browser to keep building the web page while simultaneously downloading the JavaScript but to not execute (run) the JavaScript until the web page has been downloaded and otherwise rendered.

The defer attribute is useful for JavaScript that is related to web page elements that are not critical, like a video that is lower in the web page (below the fold).

Jetpack Boost will defer non-critical JavaScript.

This is how the official Jetpack Boost plugin web page describes it:

“Defer Non-Essential Javascript moves some tasks to after the page loads, so that important visual information can be seen sooner.”

Related: JavaScript SEO: Best Practices and Debugging Tools

3. Lazy Image Loading

Lazy loading allows a web page to download without having to download every single image on the web page. What it does is download images that are within a browser screen’s view, where the site visitor can see it.

Related: How to Perform an In-Depth Technical SEO Audit

Ease of Use

Jetpack Boost is designed to be extremely easy to use. All that has to be done is install the plugin and turn on the modules that are needed.

Advertisement

Warning: As mentioned earlier, this is an alpha version of the plugin, a pre-release preview that is meant for testing purposes on a website that is not live on the web.

Publishers with a lot of custom JavaScript may have to check that the Defer JavaScript module does not break their JavaScript.

That said, Jetpack Boost will soon be releasing version 1.0 within a couple weeks or sooner.

More functionality may be added to the plugin in the future. So far, Jetpack Boost looks like a promising plugin for optimizing a website for speed.

It is currently in a pre-release test version but the full version for live sites is coming soon.

Citation

WordPress.org Plugin Page for Jetpack Boost By Automattic, XWP

Searchenginejournal.com

Advertisement

NEWS

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

Published

on

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.”

Advertisement

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

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.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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]

Searchenginejournal.com

Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending

en_USEnglish