I’m seeing it everywhere these days and it’s starting to really piss me off, everyone is posting Core Web Vitals hacks that will turn out to be a complete disaster when implemented and simply don’t work. Terrible advice and bad solutions to somehow magically fix your page speed results.
Every SEO agency out there is talking about the hottest game in town, and digital marketing ‘experts’ giving suggestions to beat vitals… They clearly don’t know what they’re talking about, and even worse.. they all fail core web vitals themselves when I plug their sites into the PageSpeed Insights test.
I’ve previously posted about how these agencies and contractors are promising to fix website core web vitals results and ripping people off, but they are now providing ridiculous hacks that are sure to put them in Google jail at some point in future Lighthouse updates.
I’m not going to give any of these wild theories any oxygen with links back to their sites, but I’ve seen hacks to get perfect LCP scores by putting everything into iframes and other suggestions that are going to do a ton of harm. Not hard to spot and can have negative impact beyond what they are trying to accomplish in the first place.
In all instances, none of these hacks involve fixing issues. You have to address the problem that might be hurting your LCP, FID, or CLS metrics, you can’t dance around the things that are holding you back from passing core web vitals.
I saw another hack from a connection on Linkedin that dealt with background images for mobile devices where it deferred the display on user interaction. Meaning a cleverly-designed background image that you wouldn’t notice wasn’t fully loading until you moved your mouse or interacted with your browser before the full image loaded. A split second where the deferred image would load and you wouldn’t know any better.
This actually can work quite effectively in absence of anything else, but it’s not the optimal approach to addressing the problem. They boasted an improved LCP of 2.9 seconds on mobile, which is still pretty terrible and shows why this sort of manipulation doesn’t work very well.
<UPDATE> This works better than most. Good — Unless, you are better than good.
The issue of course is they show the same full-sized image on both desktop and mobile versions of the site, they need to serve an optimized scaled-down image for mobile visits that will actually decrease their LCP loading times. Fix the damn issue.
I know conspiracy theories are all the rage these days, but you need to rely on accurate sources of information to implement best practices to keep yourself out of trouble. One of those sources is Google itself..
Core Web Vitals – What, Why and How? – Martin Splitt
Our team has healthy (and often raging) debates over every facet of website performance on a regular basis, sharing information about best practices and what ultimately doesn’t work. With everything being so new, we’re always finding actual solutions to fix the root cause of problems and not trying to hide them somehow with a piece of imaginative code snippet or plugin.
And that’s my personal advice to you. Research your PageSpeed Insights suggested opportunities that need to be addressed, and work on each one until those issues are cleared. Finding the right way is the only way, and please ignore all of these core web vitals hacks that are surely not going to be a long-term solution.