Google Control of Website Traffic

google controlGoogle control of website search traffic is a given. This control should not be a surprise to anyone. Sadly there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Let me give you some background. Over the past 15 plus years, this site has done really well in their index and Google has delivered a significant amount of traffic to the site with 15k plus articles we have always done well in daily inbound traffic.

Google Control

But as I have said many times Google giveth and Google taketh away. It’s just the nature of the beast.

But let me tell you straight up content alone which this site is not going to just carry you these days. Even though this site has a responsive design minimal advertising and a ton of original content one simple aspect of the site got my site ranking and traffic put in the penalty box.

Google Punishment

Page load speed! Granted and I have self-confessed on the podcast that I was not paying attention to it and fixing it has proved interesting. We made mistakes with large image sizes, old embedded javascript, twitter code and a  few other things that were dragging the sites page speed loads down.

In all intense and purposes, we have fixed the obvious issues and the site is back to what it should be in page loads speed. Except in the eyes of Google, it’s not. Case in point look at the outstanding score the site gets from the folks at Web Page Test. Then look at the score we get from Google’s PageSpeed Test.

You can start to see the disconnect and where my frustration is mounting.

Google Demands

We score well in optimization test but we are getting hammered in the FCP / DCL score which Google uses as part of their Algorithm to rank websites. I have spent more time the past week reading about this then I care to.The folks I have working on this are going to get it figured out. But in the end, to get it all fixed will not be cheap. Considering the hardware this site is running on we should not be struggling to lower the FCP / DCL score.

Update: Changes you make to your website today, will not show up in the Google PageSpeed FCP / DCL for up to 30 days. The reporting data is a 30-day average. So like anything else with Google you it will take some time to crawl out of the penalty box. As you can see from the PageSpeed test report statistics show that the median page on the internet requires 4 render-blocking round trips and ~89 resources (1.3MB) to load. But this page appears to use fewer resources. PSI estimates this page requires 2 render-blocking round trips and 42 resources (0.6MB) to load. Fewer round trips and bytes results in faster pages. Thus we should see a significant drop in FCP /DCL over the next 30 days.

Google Way or the Highway

Fixing this will likely allow us to crawl out of the penalty box slowly nothing is overnight with Google, fortunately, I have the resources to get this resolved. But now it’s just whack a mole and re-design work to get it done. When your dependent on Google traffic to build and maintain the shows podcast audience it’s something I have to do.

What Google wants, Google gets there is no fighting it. When they drive 90% of your search traffic to your site and all the others combined drive the other 10% you have to play the Google tax they are the gatekeeper of web traffic and in all honesty, it pisses me off.


About Todd Cochrane

Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.