What Is Google Lighthouse? (And Why You Need It)

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You know when the wife says, “I’m fine” and you know for a fact that she’s not fine? Yet, the reason she’s not fine is a complete mystery and takes advanced FBI-style skills to determine the problem?

That pretty much sums up Google.

Globally, businesses have been in a guessing game with the search engine giant to try and piece together exactly what it wants from them. The jostling for page one is fierce and often messy, but Google remains, for the most part, steadfastly silent on how to get there.

That was before Google Lighthouse.

Why is it so important for every business with an online presence to understand the role of this tool?

Unpacking Google Lighthouse

Google is determined to offer the very best answer to user queries. To do this, it has developed some mind-bending algorithms to ascertain what that is while offering the best user experience possible.

Google Lighthouse is a free online tool from Google that offers instant insights into the critical areas of your website. The dashboard is incredibly user-friendly and displays your Google Lighthouse score in simple metrics from 1 – 100 to indicate site performance.

Easily added to Google Chrome, Lighthouse offers actionable solutions to solve highlighted problems. The five categories that Google focuses on are as follows:

  1. Performance

Google Lighthouse and page speed is a major thing. To test page loading times, they use a 3G connection on a slow device. They do this to ensure that the vast majority of people who still don’t have access to 4G or 5G will experience great page performance.

Logically, those with faster connections and better phones will enjoy excellent performance on the same site.

  1. Accessibility

Google aims to address the challenges of visually impaired people by ensuring that your site is set up to accommodate these ones.

Therefore, links, buttons, and images require an accurate alt-attribute should the user be using a screen reader. Colors and contrast ratios are also taken into account.

  1. Best Practices

User security is a hot topic and therefore included in the best practices category.

Google Lighthouse will check for HTTPS usage, resource security, and other vulnerabilities that could negatively impact user experience.  

  1. SEO

SEO tests indicate how easy it is for Google to reach and crawl your site. The architecture of your pages, image tags, and a host of other factors are assessed and scored.

SEO is such a critical factor for businesses today that it’s well worth taking the advice from Google Brains and implementing it as soon as possible.

  1. Progressive Web App

PWAs are websites that are built to act and display like a mobile app. They carry all the ease and functionality of an app and make smart use of native mobile device features. Basically, they speed up and simplify online actions for users.

Due to the prevalence of PWAs, Google Lighthouse has rightly included these in their categories for analysis and improvement.

Listen to the Big G

Google Lighthouse is offering us the opportunity to see our website through the lens of the Google brains and is not to be missed.  

While it’s not ready to give up all its secrets just yet, we would be wise to use the tools provided to our advantage.

Enhancing your website and online presence is a simple thing with the help of our in-depth, practical blogs. Browse around the rest of our site for more insights.

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