Google PageSpeed: Obama vs. Romney vs. Johnson

Mashable’s article, Obama or Romney: Whose Website Is Faster?, compares the presidential candidates’ websites based on average response time. According to the article, “Mitt Romney’s website loads more than two seconds faster on average than Barack Obama’s…”

Yes, a website’s response time in heavily influenced by servers and traffic. However, I wanted to see how well the candidates’ websites were optimized according to Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool since things like compression, browser caching, and code minification also influence response time.

Google PageSpeed

As Google defines it, “PageSpeed Insights analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster. Reducing page load times can reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates.”

In theory, a perfectly optimized website could get a score of 100. But even Google.com has a score of 99. However, it’s not too difficult to get a score in the low-to-mid 90s. For example, our homepage has a score of 95.

The PageSpeed Score indicates how much faster a page could be. A high score indicates little room for improvement, while a lower score indicates more room for improvement. The PageSpeed Score does not measure the time it takes for a page to load.”
Google PageSpeed Insights

Google offers this tool for free, and most of the suggestions are fairly easy to implement. The way I see it, if a website has a low Google PageSpeed score, then the website owner either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about website optimization.

Google’s test results page tells you exactly what needs improvement. If it tells you to combine images into CSS sprites, then do it! Imagine if Google had a tool to diagnose the economy.

The bottom line is a fast-loading, optimized website saves time and money, and presidential candidates should care about saving time and money.

I included Libertarian Gary Johnson because I agree with his view on the internet and technology. Also, I was secretly hoping his score would be the best.

The Results
(Tested on Oct. 15, 2012)

Results Page Google PageSpeed (out of 100)
Obama (homepage) 80
Obama (inner page) 82
Romney (homepage) 91
Romney (inner page) 93
Johnson (homepage) 89
Update 10/22/2012:
91
Johnson (inner page) 69
Update 10/22/2012:
78

Romney’s website has the highest Google PageSpeed score.

Update 10/22/2012: Gary Johnson’s site is now better optimized than before. His homepage PageSpeed is now the same as Romney’s.

Keep in mind, I only tested each page once. The scores might fluctuate as content changes. All of the scores are good, but scores in the 90s are exceptional.

For the sake of comparison:

Test Page Google PageSpeed (out of 100)
Facebook.com 99
Apple.com 75
Yahoo.com 91
GM.com 62
NBC.com 84
UN.org/en 54

Why am I doing this? I’m simply a small business owner who loves America. I believe the next president needs to care about efficiency. Small improvements can lead to big savings.

About the Author:
http://thomasgapinski.com

Thomas is the ringleader at Motionbuzz.

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