In order to appear at the forefront of Google search results, a website has to meet a lot of requirements. The complex mathematical algorithm encompasses over 200 factors. Page optimization, content quality, uniqueness and load speed pretty much define ranking outcomes. Speaking of the latter, the issue of a slow website can be tackled via image optimization.
During the last five-year period webpage size has been gradually increasing, and the very same thing happened to the size of images. Heavy images work against websites. While users expect the page to load in a matter of seconds, large unoptimized images actually make them bounce. But not only viewers run away from slow websites — SEO suffers too. Google gives credit to fast websites, and PNG and JPEG formats are now stepping aside to make way for webP.
What is webP
Per StatCounter Global Stats, Google Chrome accounts for 63.16% of market share. WebP format is natively supported by Google Chrome. The beauty of webP is that it serves as a replacement for PNG, JPEG and GIF formats: it provides superb lossy (or irreversible compression) and lossless image compression.
Source: Google Developers According to Google research study:
- Lossy webP images have around 25-34% less file size than JPEG format (SSIM quality index), which implies some loss of quality. With each compression being made, the file gets more and more unrecognizable.
- Lossless is approximately 26% smaller than PNG. The format presents the opposite of lossy. While lossless compression makes images look better, working with heavy files has an impact on servers and can slow site speed down.
- WebP and PNG are similar because both formats support transparency (alpha channel). However, webP, due to its size, loads considerably faster than PNG, and that aspect means a lot for websites.
- In comparison to JPEG, webP format provides the same quality at a smaller file size.
- In contrast to GIF, webP format, again, provides the same quality at a smaller size. GIF files predominantly undergo this type of compression simply because lossy is not the best solution for animated files.
- Provides an opportunity for fast transferring and rendering
- Universality: webP format works as a replacement for popular formats
- Royalty-free: webP was open-sourced by Google in 2010, making it a fully open approach with open license
- The chance to save more bandwidth for websites with lots of images (travel, photography, fashion, food blogs, etc.)