Core Web Vitals Biggest Flaw

I will say the majority of time the engineers at Google are really smart and I understand the rational behind Core Web Vitals. Fast web pages are better for everyone, but the way Google measures Core Web Vitals has a major flaw, see if you can spot it in the quote below taken from the Google Support.

The report is based on three metrics as measured by actual user data: LCP, FID, and CLS. Once a URL has a threshold amount of data for any metric, the URL group’s status is its most poorly performing metric. So, for example, if a URL group has poor CLS but good FID, the URL status is “poor.”

Did you see the big flaw? Read it again? Still didn’t see it?

Here I will pull it out and bold the flaw Google has made in measuring Core Web Vitals.

as measured by actual user data

Now you might say that is not a flaw that makes perfect sense, by measuring the actual user data Google can see how long the web pages actually load for real people. Except it assumes that your readers have a decent Internet connection. What if, for example, you run a website whose main readers are not privileged enough to have a high speed connection? Your website, by virtue of having readers that are on slow connections, is then pushed down in the rankings. It won’t matter what you do to improve your website if the end users Internet connection is below what Google is expecting for average Internet speed.

For some interesting reading you might want to check out this release from the CIRA. It shows the rural median internet speed in Canada is 9.74 in 2021. Compared to in urban centres the median speed is 51.09. If your website is primarily focused on issues and needs of say the agricultural community, the speed the majority of your users have is roughly a 5th of what Google is seeing for urban users, but Google calculated the Core Web Vitals speed based on the majority of users on the Internet. The majority of Internet users live in urban centres.

Certainly Google would be smart enough to realize this right? It does not appear so. Core Web Vitals does not take into account the users Internet speed to determine rankings that I have been able to find. Of course it might be hidden behind some of Google’s almighty algorithms, but to us poor web managers it is not available. The fix to this problem is not very difficult. Google is already collecting the data to fix it, simply find the speed of the majority of users for sites and base a websites Core Web Vitals on ACTUAL USER DATA, based on the actual speed of the users that visit the site. Unfortunately I can’t see Google making such a move.

I guess Google is not always as smart as they need to be.

Your Website Sucks!

Make Your Website Suck Less!

I am very sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I need to be honest with you about your website. IT SUCKS! I know you have spent hours, well at least 30 minutes, working on your website, and I know you are very proud of it but the reality is it sucks and well you have work to do. I know it can be hard to face facts like this, but the sooner you realize it the sooner you can do something about it.

The reality is all websites suck in some way, there is no PERFECT website! That is why you need to constantly be working on your website to improve it. Test how people use your website, test new layouts, create landing pages for specific keywords. Always keep working on your site and eventually, just maybe, your website will at least suck less than it did before.

Unfortunately this is not the way most people view their website. Most people view their website as a one off. They get it done and then they don’t look at it or update it until their customers start telling them that their site sucks. Then the most common thing that is done is not to actually start working on the website, but to give it a redesign and leave it alone all over again. Time to break the cycle. Here are 10 things you can do to improve your website everyday / week / month.

  • Write a Blog Post – It can be hard to write all the time. I know but adding new content will help keep people coming to your website and talking about you. Don’t have a blog, add one. Brochure websites are old and no one wants to see them anymore.
  • Create Videos – People like video and it gives you an opportunity to show off what you do and how you do it. It can be a little more time consuming than just a regular blog post but you can post it to YouTube and you might even gain a few more visitors.
  • Clean Up Links – Links break and going back through and fixing broken links on your website can help your visitors.
  • Get a Favicon / Icon – Not only can a favicon make your website stand out to visitors when they bookmark it a decent icon can really stand out on a mobile device. That means adding more than just the 16×16 or 32×32 pixels size images that a lot of favicon creators make. Not creative? Go and download one from Free Favicon.
  • Update Your CMS – I love using WordPress for creating websites and they are regularly updating the software to make more features available and to keep it secure. It does not matter if you use WordPress or some other CMS keep it updated! It might just make the difference between being hacked or not being hacked. Need a hand? I can help you.
  • Get Mobile – There is no excuse anymore, you need a mobile website and the longer you go without one the more visitors and customers you lose. There are multiple different ways to create a mobile website from updating your theme to using a mobile url.
  • Rewrite Old Posts – Things change, pretty quickly sometimes on the Internet. Taking a few minutes to rewrite an old post, especially if it is a popular post, can help keep the traffic coming. Don’t have a blog see the first point.
  • Check Your Analytics – Everyone wants access to their analytics, but how often do you check them? Go take a look find out what is popular on your site and what people are visiting / using. Not to mention look for a way to perhaps filter out all those stupid referral spammers that keep messing up your stats.
  • Speed Up Your Website – Over time your website gets slower and doing a check of what is causing your site to slow down once in awhile is good for everyone from the search engines to every visitor you get. This can easily become a regular task that you should do just to keeps things running at top speed.
  • Fix HTML Issues – It can get boring, but fixing those little HTML things that are overlooked like titles, meta tags, image alt attributes can all make a difference on your website.

There you go ten ways to make your website suck less. It does not take a rocket scientist to make your website suck less it just takes some time and dedication. Go and make your website suck less!

Google Search by Country

There is no doubt that Google is the top search engine in the world and it sends the most traffic compared to other search engines. When you are trying to rank for a certain key phrase or keyword Google can sometimes make it hard for a person doing SEO to find the real rank of a phrase. To be fair Google does it for a reason, it wants to show the best results to me based on where I am. This makes perfect sense, except when I want to know what the best results are for people in the United States.

To overcome some of this country bias that Google has there are a couple things you can do:

  1. If you are using Google Chrome open an incognito mode window to do your searches on If you are like me and logged in to Gmail, Reader and now Google+ your searches are going to be personalized. By switching to an incognito mode window you get a more generic search experience.
  2. Google will still customize your search based on your IP address. Being being from Canada and searching I still get search results that differ from a US based searcher. To overcome this you can add an extra query string to the search address. Just enter your search in and after it is returned add &gl=us to the end on the address bar and hit enter. This should return the results that are for the geographic location of the United States. This accepts other two letter country codes, so you can check other countries as well. Some of my favourites are:
    • &gl=us – United States
    • &gl=ca – Canada (althought I get this one automatically usually)
    • &gl=uk – United Kingdom
    • &gl=au – Australia
  3. You can also use a web proxy. My favourite is Easy to use and if you select the advance options you can select a server from the United States. Occasionally though I have seen Google still return the Canadian search results, so it is not perfect either and you still might need to use the &gl=us for US based results.
  4. If you are going to need US or another countries search results a lot, you can get a subscription to VPN service. That way you appear like you are from the country you want to be from and you can save a lot of time doing your search engine results look up. There are other benefits as well being from Canada and using a VPN in the US, but that is another topic.

Here are some of the different search results just for my name. is my personal blog in case you were wondering.

It is important to know that there are different search results depending on where you live. Depending on what market you want to rank in. Something to keep in mind as you work on your SEO.

SEO Site Tools

I realized that I have taken quite a break from updating my blog and thought I should get back into writing here more often. A lot has happened since I have been updating here regularly. Many of you have discovered how much better using Google Chrome is as a web browser. I was reluctant to switch to Chrome after it first came out, mainly because some of the extensions I loved in Firefox simply were not available for Chrome.

One of the Firefox addons I used regularly was SEO for Firefox and I still will start up Firefox for that alone, but I have discovered (well many months ago already) the SEO Site Tools extension for Google Chrome and it is one of the best tools I have come across.

Not only can you get some great information about a site while you are browsing it, the best part of SEO Site Tools is how it integrates with Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. With the SEO Site Tools Google Chrome extension Google Webmaster Tools has become even more useful. My favourite is how it adds the links from the Webmaster Tools Search Queries page to Google Insight for Search. This one feature alone has helped me come up with new ideas for keywords for websites and helped tremendously to to help target existing keywords.

If you do SEO for your website at all and want to improve and make your SEO work more focused try the SEO Site Tools extension for Chrome. It has become a tool I use everyday.

A video overview of SEO Site Tools.

Speed Matters in Ranking

Having a fast website has officially become more important this past week with Google’s announcement that they are now using site speed in web search ranking. I have always tried to make fast loading websites it is another factor that webmasters should pay more attention too if they want to not only improve their website visitors experience but also to improve their search engine rankings.

The Google blog post gives some good suggestions for tools to examine your websites speed but here are some common sense tips that can help you speed up your website quickly.

  • Remove extra widgets and gadgets – Things like the Twitter widget, MyBlogLog, Google FriendConnect and even Google Adsense can all slow down a website.
  • Combine your CSS files into one file – If you use WordPress this can get tricky depending on the number of plugins you use.
  • Compress your CSS file – Check out CSS Compressor to help you remove extra space and optimize your code.
  • Combine Javascript into one external file – This can get difficult if you are using WordPress or another CMS, but it can be done.
  • Compress Javascript files – Like compressing your CSS file. It helps remove extra space and comments to compress your Javascript.Javascript Compressor
  • Use Google Javascript Libraries – Google hosts several popular Javascript libraries that website can link to and load. This can improve your website speed since your visitor could possibly already have that file cached making your load time much faster. If you use WordPress check out the Use Google Libraries plugin to make it easy to start using the Google versions of those Javascript libraries. Thanks to Douglas Karr for that WordPress tip.
  • Speed Up Your Website with GZIP Compression – I have talked about GZIP compression before to speed up your website. Not all hosts offer the ability to enable GZIP compression, but if you can it can make a drastic improvement on the speed of your website.
  • Reliable web hosting – A fast and reliable web host is critical to server your site fast. If you are just starting out it can be expensive to get your own dedicated server to make sure your site is served fast. I do recommend you take a look at either iWeb or Hostgator for shared hosting accounts. Price wise they are competitive and I have been pleased with how fast they have been.

I am still in the process of doing some of these tips here on the LGR website as well. I have had GZIP compression enabled for a while and it has made a significant difference in the speed of the website. If you can only do one thing try to enable GZIP compression. Since I am using Wordress to power this website I have been slow to combine CSS and Javascript files and compress them. I do plan on doing more of that. Perhaps there is a WordPress plugin that can help to combine them and compress them on the fly. If I find one I will let you know.

Not sure where to start to speed up your website? Let me give you a hand. I can do a website speed audit to give you more ideas on how to speed up your website. Feel free to contact me and I will be happy to look over your website.


Want to know what other websites someone else owns or works on? Thanks to SpyOnWeb you can get a pretty good idea of what other websites someone owns or is involved with. Just enter the URL of the website you want to know about and SpyOnWeb will return the other website names that are associated with that address. SpyOnWeb does more than just look up the sites that are on the same IP address though, it will look for sites that have the same AdSense publisher id and the same Google Analytics ID. This gives you a much better idea of what other sites a person is involved in.

This service is similar to another one I talked about at one time called You Get Signal. You Get Signal only returns the other websites that are on the same IP address though. If the persons website is on shared web hosting then there is no guarantee that the other websites are theirs or belong to someone else. The fact that SpyOnWeb checks not just for IP addresses but also Google AdSense and Analytics ID’s give it a better percentage that the sites it returns will be have something to do with the same person.

There is a lot of information you can find with a tool like this and while it can be fun to see what other websites people have, it may not be totally accurate as well. For example, some of the sites that it returns for me are not my personal websites, but my clients websites. Yes I do have something to do with the site, but it is not my website. There were also some websites returned that are no longer mine or on my server. Overall it can be a useful tool, especially if you are wondering what else your competition might be up too. Remember to play nice though. Like Search Engine Journal says:

I don’t advise though to use this tool for any malicious purposes.

I read about this service thanks to a post over at Search Engine Journal.

WordPress SEO Plugins

As great as WordPress is for search engine optimization there are ways of making it better. I have a list of several WordPress SEO plugins that I like to install and use on the WordPress sites I work on but it is always nice to have a list of SEO plugins that are available. Thankfully Mashable has put together a great post of 20 of the Best SEO Plugins for WordPress. Many of the plugins I like to use are on the list including the All in One SEO Pack and Google XML Sitemaps. There are also a few that I have not heard of but will have to give a try and see how they work.

One of the plugins that caught my eye was Simple Tags. When I started this blog I was on Blogger and was using FTP publishing to publish it to my server. Blogger offered labels and when I switched the blog to WordPress the labels where switched over to categories. Over time and with the closing of Epiblogger the number of categories have grown. I hope to clean up the number of categories at some point this year and start using categories and tags. I have not been looking forward to that task, but perhaps Simple Tags will help me accomplish it. Does anyone have experience with Simple Tags and how well it auto generates tags for posts?

If you are interested in WordPress SEO take a look at the post and some of the plugins they talk about and try some of them out if you want to improve your WordPress blog search engine optimization.

SEO No No’s

I had a phone conversation the other day with a gentleman that was interested in having some search engine optimization done to improve the ranking of his website. He runs a local business here in Regina and has had a website for a couple of years. After talking to him about his website for a little while and then looking at his website I noticed a couple of things that stood out right away.

No Updates

I asked the gentleman how often they have updated the site. Can you guess his reply? Never. This company had the site created just over two years ago, but there was not one update done on the site since then.

Hidden Text

I thought I would look at the code for the site while I was there and when I got to the bottom of the code I noticed an extra <div> with a class of “hidden”. Looking at the site you could not see this text but it was clearly visible to anyone looking at the code and it would be clearly visible to any search engines. I asked this gentleman if he know what the hidden text was at the bottom of the code. He said their web designer added that to help the rank in the search engines.

No Links

I was almost afraid to do a site: and link: check in Google for the site. To my surprise the site was still listed in Google, but a link check only showed five links pointing back at the site. I was actually a little surprised that they had that many.

As we talked some more this gentleman asked me how much I would charge to get him to number one in Google. I said that I could not guarantee a number one placement in Google but I would be happy to write up a quote for him. He asked what the ballpark might be. I think I shocked him a little bit, because his reply was “That is more than I paid for the site!” He told me not to bother writing up the quote.

If you have a website and you never update it, have hidden text and no links pointing to your website it is unlikely that the search engines are going to rank you high. Don’t be like this guy. Remember you get what you pay for. Paying for a cheap website will get you a cheap website. You need to constantly be working on your site to help it rank well. I made a quick list in my Website Promotion is a Social Activity post if you need some ideas.

To finish this story off, I was curious about how he found me but I forgot to ask while I was on the phone with him. I was scanning through my logs today and one search query from Google Canada caught my eye. The query: Regina SEO. I got a good chuckle from that.

Google Sitemap Generator

There have been a lot of little things that I have done when I decided to integrate my blog into my main website. Doing a redirection from the old blog address of to the new address was a priority. That has helped users that have already bookmarked or linked to the posts on the old URL’s find the new locations. Eventually it should help PageRank flow to the new locations as well. While I have not always submitted a Google Sitemap to the Google Webmaster Tools in this occasion I wanted to let Google know as quickly as possible about the new location of the content.

Creating Google Sitemaps is not necessarily a difficult task, but if you have a large website or a blog that is updated often the last thing you want to do is to update your Google Sitemap everyday manually. Sure there are some online Google Sitemap generators that can create the file for you. Some have limits on the number of pages they will allow, some use Python scripts, and some you can download and run on your computer to create the file. All of them will take time away from you doing what is most important to you. Things like running your business, creating more great content, spending time with family etc.

One of the reasons I choose to move my website into WordPress was to automate some of the things that take time and take me away from running my business. WordPress has a plugin system that makes it easy to extend WordPress to do more. In this case to simplify the creation of a Google Sitemap all you need to do is install the Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator for WordPress. With a few clicks you can have WordPress create your own Google Sitemaps file for you to upload to Google Webmaster Tools. The plugin automatically regenerates the sitemap if you modify or publish a new post and you can spend your time doing other things.

The Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator for WordPress is one of the plugins I often install for clients that use WordPress and it has been a great help in getting the new LGR Internet Solutions website and blog indexed in Google with the move from the blogs previous URL. I recommend using the Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator for WordPress if you have a WordPress website and you are using Google Webmaster Tools it takes care of creating your Google Sitemap for you and allows you to focus on what is important.