I'm the owner of a quite large site (millions of pages). I'm trying to optimize the site for "time spent downloading a page"-metric in google search console. Currently my stats in Search Console reports something like this:
Obviously this is quite slow. As the task for me of reducing this is quite big, I wanna make sure I spend my time optimizing the right things.
My core site (serving the HTML) is hosted in Germany, as my primary user group is European. The primary pages responding with 200 OK are all in sitemaps, and those are page cached responding in less than 10ms. I have a lot of images on my site too (millions). Those are delivered via a cloudflare CDN, so they are cached too + geographically distributed.
In my quest for lowering the server response time of my site I have the following questions?
- Is there any source/knowledge out there of what is actually included in this metric in Search Console?
- Is it only pages responding with 200 OK status code or would it also include response times 301s, 410s 404s and 5XXs?
- Is it only including response times of HTML pages or would it also include response times of e.g. images and what about even async JSON requests that google some times executes when visiting my pages with JS enabled?
- Is it including only requests to TLD or is it also including any request to subdomains too?
- What's the consequence of the physical distance to googles primary crawling servers? As I understand from googling around and also looking at the google IP's crawling my site, google spends around 95% of it's crawling efforts accessing my site from the US. Would those extra ~300ms of network from oversea be reflected in the numbers too or are they subtracted? Or in other words, would it be worth for me serving the requests from a US based hosting?
Hope someone has some insight knowledge on this.