Even if you don’t know it, Google regularly measures the performance of web pages, and this is information that does not go unnoticed by Google Chrome, your browser. And it is that, although a certain user does not worry (consciously) too much if a page takes one, five, or ten seconds to load, in reality, any weight penalizes the overall evaluation of an experience.
We have got used to the fact that we want everything now, without waiting. This has multiple readings but I will not expand now, for now, we are left with what Google does to support the culture of immediacy.
Although very few people know, 100%, how Google works when classifying and ordering search results, it has been known for years that its performance is an important aspect. Pages must load quickly, respond quickly to user interactions, and must not undergo changes that alter the layout of their content once loaded.
Failure to comply with these rules penalizes the classification that Google makes of each website, and very soon users will be able to access, directly from Google Chrome, the data on which said the assessment is based.
And this is going to increase in the future, since from May 2021, the performance values that I am talking about now will be valued by Google as a ranking factor in search results. , that these data are not secret, far from it. Extensions for Google Chrome like Web Vitals allow us to see how a website scores in three key aspects:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures how long it takes for the largest element in the visible part of a web page to display in the browser. To provide a good user experience, LCP must occur within 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load.
First Input Delay (FID): measures the time from when a user first interacts with a page until the browser can respond to that interaction. To provide a good user experience, pages must have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures how much the content visible in the window changes, as well as the distance these elements are shifted. Common reasons for CLS are when ads or menu bars are shown pushing down viewable content. To provide a good user experience, pages must maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.
Until now, as I have already said, it was possible to access this information from Google Chrome using extensions such as Web Vitals. However, Google has added a new test function, currently available only in Google Chrome Canary (the development version ) in which it is possible to activate a small information box in the upper right corner, and which will show the performance information of every page we access.
In addition, Google would be testing a new metric called Average Dropped Frame (ADF) that measures, as its name suggests, the number of frames (frames) that are lost when representing a moving image that, as a general rule, makes use of the System GPU. The higher the average number of frames lost, the worse the evaluation will be.
How to show web performance in Google Chrome Canary
If you are interested in trying this function, the first thing is that you must have installed the development version of Google Chrome, which you can download from this link.
Once installed, to activate the performance monitor that will inform you about the LCP, FID, CLS, and ADF values, type chrome: // flags in the address bar, search for the experiment “Show performance metrics in HUD” and select, for it, the value «Enabled». Confirm the change by pressing the Relaunch button in the lower right corner and, when the browser reloads, the function will be active.