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Thread: Webmaster Tools May Be Using Your Site Visits For Performance Measurement

  1. #1
    TopDogger's Avatar
    TopDogger is offline Über Hund
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    Webmaster Tools May Be Using Your Site Visits For Performance Measurement

    I saw something curious while reviewing my Google Webmaster Tools account. I was checking the site performance section for my blogs and noticed that the WordPress blogs that I spend the most time working on are showing the worst page loading times.

    For my top blogs, Webmaster Tools is showing average page load times of 8 to 10 seconds. Each of those sites has caching installed, so the page loading times should be rocket fast and do appear to be very fast, generally under 2 seconds.

    The other issue that caught my eye is that the Example Pages with poor loading times shown just below the Performance chart are mostly WordPress admin pages, which is something that spiders should not be able to access.

    My concerns are the following:

    1. Page loading times tend to be longer in the WordPress admin area because, quite frankly, the admin section contains bloated code and is a bit of a pig.

    2. Google may be using our own browsers to track performance statistics when we are logged into our Webmaster Tools account, or perhaps they are using the Google Toolbar to track performance stats for sites.

    3. Because page loading recently became a ranking factor with Google, are we negatively impacting our own performance statistics when we spend a lot of time in the WordPress admin areas for our blogs?


    Yahoo's YSlow gives my blog pages a score generally around 85 to 88 out of 100, which is a grade of B, so it does not look like there is an actual performance problem. The page load times are usually under 2 seconds.


    Has anyone seen any info on this or have some thoughts to add?
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  2. #2
    Andy101's Avatar
    Andy101 is offline Code Otaku
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    Load times of 8 to 10 seconds suggests to me that plugins are at work accessing other sites to slow things down. This would be especially the case with auto-posting plugins that pull content to form posts.

    But this should not be the case with a cached blog.

    Or the admin area that pulls data from WordPress and may be checking for the latest versions of files.

    So I guess I am kind of agreeing with your suspicions TopDogger even though I don't use these tools. I even turn off PR checking in the Quirk Search Status FireFox plugin unless I specifically need it.

  3. #3
    sparckyz's Avatar
    sparckyz is offline Draconian Times
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    Interesting, do you ever notice that sometimes your page slows down when its waiting for connection to google analytics or infolinks before the page is fully loaded? (i have sometimes noticed it :P)

  4. #4
    TopDogger's Avatar
    TopDogger is offline Über Hund
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    The real issue is that it appears that Google is using our own browsers to gauge performance statistics. That is the only way that Google would be able to pick up statistics from WordPress admin pages.

    My sites are hardened, so there isn't any way for a spider to access any scripts in my admin areas. The only way for them to get those statistics if if they are piggybacking on my login.

    If they are using those numbers for the performance measurement used for site rankings, we could be getting hurt if we spend too much time in WordPress admin.

    All of my WordPress sites that I only log into once every couple of months are showing extremely fast performance statistics and no admin pages as the Example Pages.

    I just blocked the wp-admin directory in the robots.txt file. I don't know if this will do anything to eliminate the admin pages from the performance statistics, but I will be watching it over the next month.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  5. #5
    Mike-XS's Avatar
    Mike-XS is offline XeroAgent
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    The real issue is that it appears that Google is using our own browsers to gauge performance statistics. That is the only way that Google would be able to pick up statistics from WordPress admin pages
    How would they do that ? With google analytics code in your admin pages ?


    You could turn off or block their toolbar, and then use a different browser set up to block the analytics when you log into the admin cp.

  6. #6
    Social-Media is offline Search Marketing Consultant
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    And I'll bet you have Google Toolbar installed in your browser... I quit using Google Toolbar on my primary machine for this very reason. Google has been using their toolbar for quite some time to gather info similar to what you're talking about. Google toolbar sends back all kinds of info to Google about sites you visit including but not limited to your own.

    I have a backup laptop that I use when I need to see Toolbar PR or use other features of their toolbar. But my primary machine is Google Toolbar-free.

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