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    Does Google always spider from the USA?


    Hi,

    I'm trying to figure out something. Since we moved our European based site (a hotel booking site for EU people) to the EU, Google seems to still be spidering us from the USA, and is getting quite slow speeds. European based users are getting < 1.9s on almost all requests - yet some of the USA ones are getting 11+ seconds (I've seen 22 seconds in some cases!)

    What can we do about this? The site is set as being based in France, so I would have thought Google would spider from somewhere in the EU?

    I have a feeling the speed they get when spidering, is something they take into consideration (not RUM , like we are seeing on Pingdom)

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Andy
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    Hi Andy,

    Search Console Help: Googlebot

    "We use a huge set of computers to fetch (or "crawl") billions of pages on the web."

    Mar 2017: Google Data Center FAQ

    "Google lists eight data center locations in the U.S., one in South America, four in Europe and two in Asia. Its cloud sites, however, are expanding, and Google’s cloud map shows many points of presence worldwide. The company also has many caching sites in colocation facilities throughout the world, whose locations it does not share."

    At this point in time G has said there is a penalty for very slow loading websites. Speeds of 30-60 secs have been mentioned. Very few sites are in this slow speed category.

    A robot's indexing speed cannot be compared with a viewer's page load speed in a browser.

    Comments on this post

    • Test-ok agrees
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    Thanks John. It just surprises me that for a website that has its locale set as France in GWebmasters, that they still spider from the USA (especially if they have all those servers based closer to where we are based)


    A robot's indexing speed cannot be compared with a viewer's page load speed in a browser.

    Where does Google get its speed rankings from then? Users of Chrome?


    Thanks


    Andy
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    Hi Andy,
    You will find that Google tries to use ranking signals that are "universal". It is unlikely to use any specific browser type or even Analytics installed stats for this reason. (Eg. Did you know that Chrome browser is used by less than 10% of the Chinese users? Do you know that USA web users are only 7% of world-wide usage?)

    G dropped "reading" the author meta tag a few years ago. My guess is that not enough web pages actually used it to make it a reliable signal.

    Google does not have speed rankings in the sense that a faster page gets a boost in the SERPs over a slower page. It only implements a fixed value negative penalty for ULTRA slow loading pages.

    Google cannot assess "real" page load speed as this will vary by time of day, day of week and month of year. It will also vary with the site hosting service's capabilities, how many people are using them, the type of sites hosted on a server and the demand they make on the server's processing power. Then there are all the speed factors around the user's ISP, type of device, browser type, mobile vs desktop access speed, etc., etc., etc.

    All these are probably why the G load speed ranking signal is only set as a negative ranking penalty and with such an imprecise performance parameter.

    All G can do at present is offer a tool to help you assess the HTML elements that may be modified to improve load speed. Many of these are to do with reducing the need for the user's browser to make repeat requests for files on the hosting server and to reduce the data size of images, etc.

    Things are likely to change with G's new mobile index. How, we have no idea...

    Mar 2017: Google Mobile First Index: Page Speed Included as a Ranking Factor

    "Illyes (Googler) said that the way Google calculates page speed for desktop doesn’t work for calculating it on mobile, so they need to launch a new one for mobile page speed."

    "When Mobile First is closer to launching, Google plans to communicate more specifics on page speed as part of the mobile first index, and whether it will launch with the new index or as a component after."

    Personal opinion...

    IMHO, Load speed must always be a secondary ranking signal as it does nothing to help G assess the relevance of any page to a specific search query.

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    Last edited by JohnAimit; Dec 9th, 2017 at 02:38 AM.
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    Hi,

    Sorry for the late reply. And thanks for the in-depth answer. That answers my question

    Cheers

    Andy

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