Google flagship update 8.3.0

Lighthouse, the technology that powers audits in Chrome Dev Tools and PageSpeed ​​Insights updated to version 8.3.0. The new version offers bug fixes and incremental improvements, but it’s also the first step in measuring what’s going on. after a web page loads. This new direction is called Fraggle Rock Project.

The updated version of Lighthouse is available on PageSpeed ​​Insights. It is expected to be released in Chrome Dev Tools in Chrome 94 on September 21, 2021.

Google flagship

Google Lighthouse is an open source tool created by Google that tests web pages for web performance bottlenecks, accessibility issues, and identifies SEO opportunities.

Since the tool is open source, the underlying code that powers Lighthouse can be found in many third-party tools, some of which extend Lighthouse by adding different features and more useful data visualizations.

This means that any changes to Lighthouse will inevitably make them third-party tools as well.

Lighthouse can be used as part of the Chrome Dev Tools suite of tools which is native to every Chrome browser.

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Lighthouse 8.3.0 is coming to Chrome 94, which is slated for release on September 21, 2021.

Updates from PageSpeed ​​Insights to Lighthouse 8.3.0

PageSpeed ​​Insights is a web page performance measurement tool also produced by Google. Google Lighthouse powers PageSpeed ​​Insights.

The difference between PageSpeed ​​Insights and the Lighthouse tool is that PageSpeed ​​Insights only displays webpage performance metrics and focuses strictly on that metric.

PageSpeed ​​Insights does not display the rest of the data presented by Lighthouse, including accessibility and SEO.

Related: A technical SEO guide to Lighthouse performance metrics

What’s new in Lighthouse 8.3.0

There are no big changes to the way Core Web Vitals are measured. But version 8.3.0 is a small step towards bigger things in the future and also includes bug fixes.

Fraggle Rock Flagship Project

Lighthouse 8.3.0 takes a small step forward to move beyond single web page analytics and expand to user flow analytics.

The future of Lighthouse is to analyze feeds from when a user performs an action like clicking a button and what happens next.

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Lighthouse currently measures things like the time it takes for a web page to become interactive.

The new flow direction will measure what happens after the page loads.

This project is whimsically called Fraggle Rock, which is the name of a 1980s children’s show that featured a lighthouse called the Fraggle Rock Lighthouse.

The current description of the Fraggle Rock project is officially summarized:

“Fraggle Rock (Lighthouse scripted scenarios) allows a developer to get a Lighthouse report beyond an initial page load. This is valuable because it provides developers with insight into performance and best practices for complex user flows like sign up, add to cart, tweet time, etc.

The official GitHub page for the new feature describes four scenarios:

  1. “Running instant style audits on a page after interaction ie I clicked on a menu option and now rerun accessibility category
  2. Perform time-style audits on a page during any arbitrary interaction
  3. Run Lighthouse on traditional page navigation from an existing page
  4. Run Lighthouse on a single page navigation in the app “

There are eight (provisional) phases to bring current flows to Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse team is currently in phase zero, which is the planning phase.

Phase 0 – Research and design

  • Create an inventory of all audits listing their implicit requirements (e.g. snapshot v. Duration v. Load) Done
  • Create a Design Document and a Completed Project Plan »

Phases 1-8 are not complete, so it’s clear that the Lighthouse team is at the start of an important update that will radically change this tool.

Related: How to perform an in-depth SEO technical audit

Lighthouse 8.3.0 bug fixes

Lighthouse 8.3.0 also features bug fixes and small improvements, some of which were suggestions from the developer community who were frustrated with the issues they discovered.

For example, one of the fixes was to resolve the “calculation of resource size of cached images”.

One of the developers commented:

“The initial reason we wanted to disable the cache was that when calculating the size of the resources, the gatherer takes into account transferSize, which is equal to 0 for cached images. Images from the cache are therefore ignored by this gatherer. This appears to be unwanted behavior because it doesn’t matter whether an image is cached or not to optimize it.

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Disabling the cache fixed the issue but added an average of 10 seconds to our flagship runs. I am wondering if the aforementioned code does not inadvertently delete the cached images.

Reformulated flagship SEO category

Lighthouse’s SEO category has been reformulated to focus on Core Web Vitals (CWV).

The new wording also removes the explicit reference to improving search result ranking and replaces that reference with the words “search engine optimization tips”, which are more neutral in terms of promises to rock top. search engine results pages.

The official GitHub page for this change states:

“Updates the description of our SEO category to reduce completeness and remind the user of the CWV.” “

Previous description of the Lighthouse referencing:

“These checks ensure that your page is optimized for search engine result ranking.

There are additional factors that Lighthouse does not check that can affect your search ranking.

The new description of Lighthouse SEO now reads as follows:

“These checks ensure that your page follows basic search engine optimization advice.

There are many other factors that Lighthouse doesn’t note here that can affect your search rankings, including performance on Core Web Vitals. Learn more.”

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Lighthouse 8.3.0 Summary of changes

It’s realistic that the Lighthouse team has reworded the SEO section to more accurately define SEO as search engine optimization and to better remove any association with ranking.

Obviously, the most interesting part of the Lighthouse 8.3.0 announcement is the Fraggle Rock project, which will soon be covered in more detail.

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Lighthouse 8.3.0 release notes


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