Google loves us 100%


26 May 2017

Google loves us 100%. At least that is what the PageSpeed Insights tool tells us for both Mobile and Desktop. And since we are currently promoting our popular Marketing Analytics using Microsoft R and Azure training course for live classes 3-7 July 2017, we thought we should try to make our digital masters happy. So we did. Even if we are not sure it is the right thing to do; it may even be evil.

Achieving the 100/100 score did feel a little like one of those modern computer games where you have to do the same thing over and over again, even though it didn’t make much sense to start with. We had to inline our CSS which is a horrible design because that precludes caching. I get that opening another connection takes time (and I get that there are limitations on how many connections a browser will open at one time to the same site), but, assuming a long expiration time of your CSS file, it only has to be done once as opposed to downloading (most of) the CSS in every single page. At least it compresses well. (Yes, we have implemented delay loading of non-essential CSS, but if you think about how much of your styles influence the layout you quickly get to almost everything is essential.)

We had to take out Google Analytics in order to please Google PageSpeed which makes no sense at all. They are smoking something strange in Google HQ. At least it makes our cookie policy blissfully short. We may put it back later, but analysing our log files using Amazon Athena is not a bad solution.

We had to get clever about how we load the big (‘hero’) images at the start of the page. Sadly, the Google 100% solution is not quite as flexible as the obvious one using srcset= attributes. And it sucks rotten eggs if you ever want to download the image for yourself: we had to implement it as a CSS background-image to a transparent PNG which in turn is delivered using an inline data URI. And if that explanation makes sense to you…, well you are as sad as we are now! [Update: we took that out again. Too much trouble. Now we are 100/100 and 97/100.]

So basically we are throwing out clean, standard based design in order to please Google. We optimize for new visitors instead of repeat readers, because that is what Google sells. The things we do for love.

We did manage to implement a better (state-full) menu which is nice. Now for the re-organization of the site.

All of this is a way of saying sorry for the radio silence on our site over the last few weeks. Distracted by love. But the honeymoon is over, so let’s get back to business.

Did I mention that registration is now open for Marketing Analytics using Microsoft R and Azure training course with live classes 3-7 July 2017? This intensive course gives you hands-on experience using Microsoft R and Azure covering the key techniques for analyzing customer data for Sales and Marketing. The focus is on getting to the business results and you will return to your organization with the skills you need to deliver and demonstrate commercial impact from your work.

Tell all your friends and colleagues about it! Ask us for volume discounts if you are 3 or more attending. Or ask us for a custom delivery.