There are a lot of specialists who provide website speedup services on WordPress. Of course, not everyone uses honest acceleration methods; instead, they do fake optimizations.

First, let’s answer the question:

Why is website speed optimization needed?

  • fast, correct loading of content for site visitors;
  • a high level of PageSpeed for Google, which affects the ranking in search results.

Both of these points are equally important. But often, customers use only one tool for evaluating optimization results – PageSpeed Insights. And if the customer also demands to bring the site to the green zone on mobile, then all conditions are created for fraud.

Ways to cheat Google PageSpeed

The scammer-optimizer makes PageSpeed Insights really show the green zone. The customer is happy, although the site loads just as slowly.

A well-known way to cheat Google in this way is described in the article “How to wind up 100 points on Google PageSpeed”. In a nutshell: a special script determines who exactly visited the page of the site, and if it is a Google bot, then a screenshot of the page is given to it instead of the real page. Agree, the difference is significant, instead of a live site, show only one picture.

Interestingly, sometimes such optimizers do not consider their actions (fake speedup) to be a deception of the customer, because “he asked to increase PageSpeed” 🙂

An example of a fake

A couple of weeks ago, we encountered another way to “boost” PageSpeed. The customer contacted us with a request for optimization, but his site had depressing performance, and we guaranteed an increase in mobile PageSpeed in a somewhat vague range: 35-65 points. These figures did not convince the customer and he found another specialist. The results of the latter are really impressive: 86 for the mobile version, 98 for the PC version.

PageSpeed 86 of 100

True, there is one but. Google, when analyzing a page, cannot load it completely. More precisely, it loads a half-empty page. In the screenshot, the arrows show the blocks where the site should be displayed.

Fake pagespeed results

Maybe Google has a problem? No. First, let’s check the page with another analyzer, for example, GTMetrix.

GTmetrix don't like fake speedup

As you can imagine, the overall grade is “F”.

But we’ll go ahead and visit the site, posing our browser as Chrome-Lighthouse. Amazingly, with the new UserAgent we can only see the top menu on the site!

Blank page with fake speedup

This is all sad. But…

What can this “optimization” lead to?

Fake speedup can lead to:

  • useless for visitors, because the real speed of loading the site has remained the same;
  • to a fall in the site’s position in the search.

How to determine if a site has been fake optimized?

First, do not contact scammers who promise to raise the PageSpeed score from 15 to 90+, and for very little money.

Secondly, double-check the results of the optimized site in several analysis systems. Among the most famous are:

Thirdly, you can fill out an application on the main page and get an honest forecast of the results of optimizing your site, and then compare with what other specialists will offer you. Fill the application.

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