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Core Web Vitals Means Deciding What Add-ons are Necessary

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Core Web Vitals Means Deciding What Add-ons are Necessary

Google’s Martin Splitt discussed the value of being flexible enough to replacing a plugin or add-on if it cannot be adapted to scoring better in core web vitals.

“If someone is in a situation where they’re using various different tools, add-ons, apps and plugins to make their user experience “better” or upsell the user or whatever it is and those tools aren’t making the changes… and they can’t implement them differently… should they be looking at different solutions?”

Martin Splitt answered:

“I guess looking at different solutions is definitely a good idea.”

Martin next made the analogy of owning a car with very good gas mileage that had a flaw in that it tended to crash every couple of months.

Screenshot of Loren Baker, a Founder of Search Engine Journal

Screenshot of Loren Baker interviewing Martin Splitt
Loren Baker asking Martin an amusing question.

Loren asked:

“The Tesla analogy?”

Martin Splitt paused a second then responded:

No…

Screenshot of Martin Splitt Playfully Responding With a No

Screenshot from video of interview with Google's Martin Splitt
Google’s Martin Splitt playfully denies that he just made a Tesla analogy crashing

They both chuckled about the joke and moved on with the discussion.

Martin continued:

“If it gives you more stuff that potentially is great but it has these implications… you have to judge for your specific case if you’re okay with the implications that it has or if you’re like nah, I’ll try to see if we have something else that does that without the problems.”

So in other words, if a publisher’s site is slowed down because of a web page feature and the feature cannot be optimized then maybe it’s time to look for another way to accomplish what that feature was doing or simply do without the feature if it’s not really going to be missed.

These web page features can be plugins and apps like chatbots or contact forms that are slowing down rendering.

Loren Baker commented:

“It’s a good chance to look through all of these legacy tools that people have utilized over the years and put together a nice SWOT analysis.

What are the pros and cons? Such and such ups conversion rates or whatever by X percent…

So put together that analysis, right? There are some tools out there… that are alternative players in their spaces that are really marketing the fact that they’re fast, they don’t mess up anything with the page loads and they don’t move things around etc.”

Core Web Vitals May Require Website Technical Analysis

Part of the battle of optimizing is measuring how much impact any plugin or addon has on a site. Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insight give an idea of what the troubling files are.

But at a certain point, optimizing for speed might make publishers think hard about how necessary some addons are to a site because the slower page speed could be working against conversions and rankings.

And that means tossing out everything that’s acting like a dead weight to the site and slowing it down.

Citation

Watch Martin Splitt at 38:15 minute mark

Searchenginejournal.com

GOOGLE

Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

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Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

Google has agreed to pay a $391.5 million settlement to 40 states to resolve accusations that it tracked people’s locations in violation of state laws, including snooping on consumers’ whereabouts even after they told the tech behemoth to bug off.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said it is time for Big Tech to recognize state laws that limit data collection efforts.

“I have been ringing the alarm bell on big tech for years, and this is why,” Mr. Landry, a Republican, said in a statement Monday. “Citizens must be able to make informed decisions about what information they release to big tech.”

The attorneys general said the investigation resulted in the largest-ever multistate privacy settlement. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat, said Google’s penalty is a “historic win for consumers.”

“Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects, and there are so many reasons why a consumer may opt out of tracking,” Mr. Tong said. “Our investigation found that Google continued to collect this personal information even after consumers told them not to. That is an unacceptable invasion of consumer privacy, and a violation of state law.”

Location tracking can help tech companies sell digital ads to marketers looking to connect with consumers within their vicinity. It’s another tool in a data-gathering toolkit that generates more than $200 billion in annual ad revenue for Google, accounting for most of the profits pouring into the coffers of its corporate parent, Alphabet, which has a market value of $1.2 trillion.

The settlement is part of a series of legal challenges to Big Tech in the U.S. and around the world, which include consumer protection and antitrust lawsuits.

Though Google, based in Mountain View, California, said it fixed the problems several years ago, the company’s critics remained skeptical. State attorneys general who also have tussled with Google have questioned whether the tech company will follow through on its commitments.

The states aren’t dialing back their scrutiny of Google’s empire.

Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was filing a lawsuit over reports that Google unlawfully collected millions of Texans’ biometric data such as “voiceprints and records of face geometry.”

The states began investigating Google’s location tracking after The Associated Press reported in 2018 that Android devices and iPhones were storing location data despite the activation of privacy settings intended to prevent the company from following along.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich went after the company in May 2020. The state’s lawsuit charged that the company had defrauded its users by misleading them into believing they could keep their whereabouts private by turning off location tracking in the settings of their software.

Arizona settled its case with Google for $85 million last month. By then, attorneys general in several other states and the District of Columbia had pounced with their own lawsuits seeking to hold Google accountable.

Along with the hefty penalty, the state attorneys general said, Google must not hide key information about location tracking, must give users detailed information about the types of location tracking information Google collects, and must show additional information to people when users turn location-related account settings to “off.”

States will receive differing sums from the settlement. Mr. Landry’s office said Louisiana would receive more than $12.7 million, and Mr. Tong’s office said Connecticut would collect more than $6.5 million.

The financial penalty will not cripple Google’s business. The company raked in $69 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2022, according to reports, yielding about $13.9 billion in profit.

Google downplayed its location-tracking tools Monday and said it changed the products at issue long ago.

“Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago,” Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in a statement.

Google product managers Marlo McGriff and David Monsees defended their company’s Search and Maps products’ usage of location information.

“Location information lets us offer you a more helpful experience when you use our products,” the two men wrote on Google’s blog. “From Google Maps’ driving directions that show you how to avoid traffic to Google Search surfacing local restaurants and letting you know how busy they are, location information helps connect experiences across Google to what’s most relevant and useful.”

The blog post touted transparency tools and auto-delete controls that Google has developed in recent years and said the private browsing Incognito mode prevents Google Maps from saving an account’s search history.

Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees said Google would make changes to its products as part of the settlement. The changes include simplifying the process for deleting location data, updating the method to set up an account and revamping information hubs.

“We’ll provide a new control that allows users to easily turn off their Location History and Web & App Activity settings and delete their past data in one simple flow,” Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees wrote. “We’ll also continue deleting Location History data for users who have not recently contributed new Location History data to their account.”

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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