Trending March 2024 # Google Chrome Lighthouse 10 Contains Two New Audits # Suggested April 2024 # Top 9 Popular

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The newly released Lighthouse 10, the technology underlying PageSpeed Insights and Chrome DevTools, introduces two new site audits. These audits should be useful as part of audit because they pertain to site security and user experience factors.

Technically, one of the audits is an expansion of a previous audit, but it’s essentially a new audit.

Lighthouse contains several kinds of audits, including, Accessibility Audits, Best Practices Audits, Performance Audits, Progressive Web Apps Audits and an SEO Audit.

These two new audits are from two different audits within Lighthouse. One is a part of the Best Practices audit and the other is from the Performance audits category.

New Back/forward Cache Audit

Something that isn’t ordinarily thought of is that Back/forward cache, also known as bfcache.

bfcache is a cache that is enabled with optimization that allows webpages to instantly load when a user navigates back or forward within a website.

Websites without bfcache enabled force site visitors to download webpages a second time when they navigate backwards and forwards within a website.

But with bfcache enabled the same site visitors experience instant loading.

Google’s developer page about bfcache explains it like this:

“The back/forward cache (bfcache) stores a snapshot of the page in memory for when the page is restored from the navigation history.

This significantly speeds up return navigations to the page, however some browser APIs (e.g. unload listeners) can cause the bfcache to fail and the page will be loaded normally.”

There are best-practices to ensure that pages are eligible to be stored in the bfcache.

The first optimization is to never use the unload event.

According to Web.dev:

“The unload event is problematic for browsers because it predates bfcache and many pages on the internet operate under the (reasonable) assumption that a page will not continue to exist after the unload event has fired.

This presents a challenge because many of those pages were also built with the assumption that the unload event would fire any time a user is navigating away, which is no longer true (and hasn’t been true for a long time).”

“Warning: Developers should avoid using this event.”

Lighthouse 10 now has an audit for bfcache.

The way it works is that it navigates away from the webpage being tested and then returns to it.

Any problems with the ability to use the bfcache are called attention to by the bfcache audit.

There are three types of failures:

Issues that can be fixed.

Features that are not yet supported by Chrome prevent the browser from caching the webpage.

These are issues that are outside of the page itself that cannot be controlled or fixed.

Expansion of Paste Into Passwords Field Audit

Allowing users to paste passwords into a password form field is a security improvement.

Disabling the ability to paste passwords prevents site visitors from using password managers that employ strong passwords.

Previous versions of Lighthouse that tested for this best practice related to pasting into form fields were limited to only testing the password field.

Lighthouse 10 improves this audit by expanding to test if pasting into any (non-readonly) input field works.

Google’s announcement of this new audit explains why it’s important:

“For most sites, preventing pasting is a net-negative user experience and prevents legitimate safety and accessibility workflows.”

All other input fields should allow pasting because it is useful for accessibility, user experience and improving security.

“How to enable pasting into password fields

To quickly find and inspect the code that’s preventing pasting:

Expand the Event Listener Breakpoints pane.

Expand the Clipboard list.

Select the paste checkbox.

Paste some text into a password field on your page.

DevTools should pause on the first line of code in the relevant paste event listener.”

Google encourages identifying the JavaScript listener script that is preventing pasting and then removing it.

Two New Lighthouse Audits

Many SEO audits don’t test for security issues, presumably because security doesn’t have anything to do with ranking, a belief that is arguably incorrect.

If the goal of an audit is to spot reasons why rankings might be compromised, then in my opinion a security check should be a part of the SEO audit.

Lighthouse 10 is active in the PageSpeed Insights tool and will appear in Chrome version 112, which is currently scheduled for a March 29, 2023 release.

Those wishing to try out the new Lighthouse 10 from the Chrome DevTools interface can do so with the developer version of Google’s browser, Chrome Canary, which contains all the latest features ahead of the regular version of Chrome.

Read about the new audits on the Lighthouse 10 announcement:

What’s new in Lighthouse 10 – New audits

Featured image by Shutterstock/Asier Romero

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4 Advanced Ways To Use Chrome Devtools For Technical Seo Audits

Chrome DevTools is a fantastic tool that often goes overlooked in technical audit guides, and by SEOs in general.

Many of us pay for extensive tool suites (with some tools costing thousands of dollars) with the goals of:

Acquiring more data points.

Simplifying and automating parts of our work.

Yet, no single tool replaces the analysis that can be performed by an SEO, applying logic and qualitative prior knowledge.

For the most part, DevTools is relatively straightforward and easy to use. That said, there are a small number of extremely useful and not-so-obvious use cases that lend themselves to the technical auditing process.

Below are some of the ways you can use DevTools to either identify issues or validate those being raised by third-party tools.

1. Check If You Content Is Accessible

Sometimes taken for granted – unless you’re working with JavaScript, which gets more focus – it’s important to verify that your main content elements are being identified by search engines.

While Google does have processes in place to crawl and render your site’s content, it’s not always 100% and sometimes can fail for various reasons.

The DOM (Document Object Model), which can be seen in the Elements tab of DevTools, enables you to:

Review various content elements including the meta title and main page body content.

Verify if it can be picked up by Google.

A key thing to look for here is the differences between source-code and the contents of the elements tab.

When auditing websites that have heavy JavaScript usage, content – such as page headers – sometimes appears fine in the HTML source code. But if injected via JavaScript, it may just show as a JS block in the Elements tab.

While Google does have the two-step process for JavaScript crawling, it’s always best to make things as easy for Google to discover content on your site and reduce process complexity.

2. Emulate Multi-Device Experiences

Having a mobile-friendly website, in the vast majority of cases, is and has been an essential component of a successful website for a number of years now.

DevTools can help in determining both mobile-friendliness and in diagnosing usability and speed issues.

Usability

In DevTools you can shift between mobile and desktop through the Device Mode icon:

You can also shift between the two modes using keyboard shortcuts, using Cmd+Shift+M on a Mac or Ctrl+Shift+M on a Windows of Linux OS, while the DevTools interface is open.

From experience, this is an effective auditing method – rather than resizing the browser window to test responsiveness.

In Device Mode, you can change between responsive viewports or choose between different pre-set devices to test your page.

This can be useful in identifying any potential issues if you have a large number of visitors from a specific device but a lower than average conversion rate.

However, as you can see from the above screenshot the preset options list is outdated, as the Pixel 2 is now superseded by the Pixel 4. You can set custom dimensions for other devices using the Edit option.

Site Speed

Along with mobile, site speed is also an important factor in both SEO (thanks to the speed update) and usability.

While there are a number of third-party speed testing tools, if you’re auditing a staging website behind HTTP Auth and blocked in robots.txt., DevTools can be a great solution to testing these webpages.

From the three-dot burger menu in the top right of the screen, you can access Network Conditions (found under More Tools).

In the Network Conditions panel, you can choose to:

Disable the browser cache.

Purposefully throttle the network to fast 3G, slow 3G.

Or add a custom throttle.

You can also select from a gamut of user agents ranging from Googlebot Smartphone through to various Microsoft Edge UAs, and Opera.

I recommend using Google Analytics data and testing the browsers and devices that the greater majority of your users use.

Once you’ve got your settings, you should navigate to the “Network” tab, and see both the page load, but also when the initial markup on the page has been parsed, DOMContentLoaded, both of which are visible at the bottom of the DevTools panel.

For further speed analysis, you can run Google Lighthouse from the Audits tab.

3. Render Blocking Resources

As mentioned previously, from the Network tab you can identify which JavaScript and CSS resources are being loaded before the DOM.

While this isn’t necessarily an issue on all websites, having resources load ahead of the DOM can potentially lead to it being blocked, which is one of the more common and resolvable site speed issues.

These can be identified by filtering for JS and CSS in the Network tab:

4. Check Resource Status Codes

The Network tab also allows you to check the HTTP status of your resources. This is invaluable in both checking if any resources return 404s or 5XX, or if your caching is working as intended.

Resources loading a 200 are fine, as are any resources that return a 304.

304 is sometimes mistaken as a redirect, but in this case, it’s a sign that the Last-Modified cache method is working as intended and that the browser already has information on the resource and it doesn’t need to download them again.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, January 2023

Chrome Settings 101: How To Customize Google Chrome

A browser is our gateway to the World Wide Web. We use it almost daily to access web pages, making it important to personalize the browser to our needs. Google Chrome, one of the most popular browsers, offers a variety of customization settings. Let’s explore how to customize Google Chrome to suit our needs.

How to Access Chrome Settings

Similarly, on Android and iPhone, tap on the three-dot icon in Chrome and go to Settings.

Now let’s explore various customization settings.

How to Set Chrome as the Default Browser

To make Chrome the default browser on Android, go to the phone’s settings, then “Apps → Default apps → Browser app.” Choose Chrome from the list. Similarly, on iPhone, navigate to the phone settings, then” Chrome → Default browser app” and select Chrome. Please note that you can set Chrome as the default browser only on iPhones running iOS 14 and above.

How to Customize the Google Chrome Homepage

When you launch Chrome or open a new tab, you will see the Chrome homepage and be greeted by the automatically-generated most visited website shortcuts. You can customize this homepage in several ways. For instance, you can change the background of the page and add your own shortcuts.

A pop-up window will appear. Under the Background tab, choose a background of your choice from the available list or upload your own. You can even set your own picture as the Chrome background.

Customize the Google Chrome background with a GIF

Yes, you can set a GIF as the homepage background in Google Chrome. For that, select the GIF file instead of the image file when selecting a background image for the homepage.

How to Customize the Chrome Search Engine

It’s not necessary to use Google as the default search engine in Chrome. You can use DuckDuckGo, Bing (Is it better than Google?), etc. Interestingly, you can even use multiple search engines in Chrome.

To change the default search engine on the desktop, open Chrome Settings and scroll down to the Search engine section. Select the search engine of your choice from the drop-down next to the “Search engine used in the address bar” label.

On mobile, go to the Chrome Settings, tap on “Search engine,” and select the new default search engine.

How to Show or Hide the Home Button and Bookmarks Bar

If you decide to keep the Home button active, you can either open a new tab page from it or add a custom page of your choice. Just select the required option under the “Show home button” setting.

How to Customize What Happens When Chrome Starts Up

When Chrome opens after it starts up, you can choose which tabs should show up. You can have the new tab page open, open all the previous tabs, or open a specific set of pages. To select the option of your choice, open Chrome Settings and go to the On startup section. Choose the desired option from the available list.

How to Turn Off Auto Fill

Chrome saves the addresses entered on any site so that it will auto-fill the next time. However, the same setting gets annoying when Chrome auto-fills the addresses if you accidentally tap on them. If you don’t like this behavior, you can disable the save and auto-fill address feature. For that, open Chrome Settings and go to “Addresses and more” under the Autofill section.

Turn off the toggle next to Save and fill addresses. You can also add or remove the addresses manually on this screen. Similarly, you can disable Chrome asking you to save the password.

On Android and iPhone, go to “Chrome Settings → Addresses and more.” Turn off the toggle for “Save and fill addresses.”

How to Stop Certain Sites from Tracking You How to Customize Individual Site Settings in Chrome

Chrome puts all the power in your hands by letting you customize the permission and content settings for each site individually. You can grant or revoke access to the microphone, camera, location, notifications, etc. for each site apart from the global settings.

How to Enable Caret Browsing in Chrome

Caret browsing is an accessibility feature that lets you navigate and select text using keyboard keys instead of your mouse. So if your mouse is throwing tantrums, you can enable Caret browsing.

To do so, simply press the F7 key on your keyboard, and that should activate Caret browsing. Use the same key to disable it. Alternatively, open Chrome Settings and enable the toggle next to “Navigate pages with a text cursor” under the Accessibility section.

How to Customize Live Captions How to Customize Chrome Appearance

Scroll down in the Chrome Settings to install Chrome themes. Read on to find out the best Chrome themes and how to create your own Chrome theme.

You can even use Chrome in dark mode. To do so on PC and iPhone, simply enable the system-wide dark mode of your device. On Android, go to “Chrome Settings → Theme” and choose “Dark.”

How to change the language in Google Chrome How to reset the customization settings in Chrome

You can either manually revert each setting or simply reset Chrome Settings. That will reset all of the Chrome customization settings to their default values.

Make Chrome Your Own

If multiple people use the same Chrome browser on your computer, each user can customize it per their needs by creating a new user profile. Apart from the above-mentioned customization settings, you can also use Chrome flags and extensions to enhance the capabilities of your browser. For instance, you can install productivity extensions, helpful tools for students, extensions to annotate text on the Web, and much more. You can even pin the most used extensions to the toolbar.

Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a tech lover from Kashmir. With a degree in computer engineering, she’s always been happy to help anyone who finds technology challenging. She’s been writing about technology for over six years, and her favorite topics include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

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Fix Google Chrome High Memory Usage

Fix Google Chrome high memory usage [Easy Guide]

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Worried about Chrome’s high memory usage? The browser does take a few extra seconds to start.

The delay is caused by the ImagePreReader used by the browser. However, Microsoft is working on a fix.

If waiting isn’t really your thing, then note that Chrome is far behind Opera at memory usage.

To find the latest tips and tricks to apply, take your time to visit this Chrome Troubleshooting Hub.

Try Opera One, a browser with various functionalities already built-in!

A flawless browser like Opera has most functions already under the hood.

Here’s what’s included by default:

Easy and intuitive workspace management

Ad-blocker mode integrated to load pages faster

WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger

Customizable Ul and AI-friendly

⇒ Get Opera One

Google and Microsoft are currently working together to reduce the overall memory strain that Chrome puts on computers.

There is no doubt that Chrome is the favorite browser of many Internet users.  However, most of them don’t have any idea about the amount of processing power the browser chews up. 

Most importantly, users with low-end, old devices complain that the browser takes a few seconds to start. However, you don’t need to worry because this is about to change very soon.

How can I fix Google Chrome’s high memory usage?

Microsoft’s engineers managed to trace the cause behind the bug and suggested a fix.

The delay is triggered by the manner in which the browser uses ImagePreReader to pre-read its DLL files i.e chúng tôi and chrome_child.dll. 

Microsoft suggests that Google needs to improve the DLL prefetcher for Chrome to avoid memory management issues.

The tech giant even made some changes to overcome memory and CPU usage issues.

However, it should be noted that Microsoft is currently working on the fix. The company may take some time to release it to the general public.

Until then, it is very common to find malicious extensions and shady themes that need to be removed. 

Instead of compromising on extensions and themes, a browser known to use the least amount of PC memory can save precious time and effort.

Quick Tip:

If you don’t want to wait until Microsoft and Google solve this problem for good, you can try an alternative browser. Based on your needs, we recommend Opera this time.

Even when it comes to those media-rich sites that consume a good chunk of CPU and memory, Opera doesn’t disappoint users.

Opera

Enjoy a smooth and fast browsing experience on your Windows computer.

Free Visit website

New Chrome features coming your way

Google is working very hard to introduce some brand new features to Chrome. Some of these features are tabs groups and warnings for malicious URLs.

It is interesting to see how both companies work together to come up with enhanced browsers versions.

The Redmond giant is currently surprising users with its Chromium-based Edge version too. First made available to Windows 10 Insiders, Chromium Edge was officially released.

Also, do note that Opera is a trustworthy alternative to all those looking for ways to deal with these issues:

Google Chrome memory usage fix – Chrome crashes caused by low memory are common these days. You can forget all about them when using Opera.

Google Chrome high memory usage fix – When encountering this issue, you can enable GPU Acceleration, remove themes and malicious extensions, or start using a different browser all together.

Google Chrome memory issues – Poorly designed extensions and themes often cause the PC to become slow, freeze or even crash. Get rid of them with no hesitation or try out Opera or UR Browser instead.

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Most Of The Web Is Invisible To Google. Here’s What It Contains

Below The Surface

You thought you knew the Internet. But sites such as Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram are just the surface. There’s a whole other world out there: the Deep Web.

It’s a place where online information is password protected, trapped behind paywalls, or requires special software to access—and it’s massive. By some estimates, it is 500 times larger than the surface Web that most people search every day. Yet it’s almost completely out of sight. According to a study published in Nature, Google indexes no more than 16 percent of the surface Web and misses all of the Deep Web. Any given search turns up just 0.03 percent of the information that exists online (one in 3,000 pages). It’s like fishing in the top two feet of the ocean—you miss the virtual Mariana Trench below.

Much of the Deep Web’s unindexed material lies in mundane data­bases such as LexisNexis or the rolls of the U.S. Patent Office. But like a Russian matryoshka doll, the Deep Web contains a further hidden world, a smaller but significant community where malicious actors unite in common purpose for ill. Welcome to the Dark Web, sometimes called the Darknet, a vast digital underground where hackers, gangsters, terrorists, and pedophiles come to ply their trade. What follows is but a cursory sampling of the goods and services available from within the darkest recesses of the Internet.

Things You Can Buy

1. Drugs

Individual or dealer-level quantities of illicit and prescription drugs of every type are available in the digital underground. The Silk Road, the now-shuttered drug superstore, did $200 million of business in 28 months.

2. Counterfeit Currency

Fake money varies widely in quality and cost, but euros, pounds, and yen are all available. Six hundred dollars gets you $2,500 in counterfeit U.S. notes, promised to pass the typical pen and ultraviolet-light tests.

3. Forged Papers

Passports, driver’s licenses, citizenship papers, fake IDs, college diplomas, immigration documents, and even diplomatic ID cards are available on illicit marketplaces such as Onion Identity Services. A U.S. driver’s license costs approximately $200, while passports from the U.S. or U.K. sell for a few thousand bucks.

4. Firearms, Ammunition, and Explosives

Weapons such as handguns and C4 explosives are procurable on the Dark Web. Vendors ship their products in specially shielded packages to avoid x-rays or send weapons components hidden in toys, musical instruments, or electronics.

5. Hitmen

6. Human Organs

In the darker corners of the Dark Web, a vibrant and gruesome black market for live organs thrives. Kidneys may fetch $200,000, hearts $120,000, livers $150,000, and a pair of eyeballs $1,500.

Things That Make Internet Crime Work

1. Cryptocurrency

Digital cash, such as bitcoin and darkcoin, and the payment system Liberty Reserve provide a convenient system for users to spend money online while keeping their real-world identities hidden.

2. Bulletproof Web-hosting Services

Some Web hosts in places such as Russia or Ukraine welcome all content, make no attempts to learn their customers’ true identities, accept anonymous payments in bitcoin, and routinely ignore subpoena requests from law enforcement.

Bitcoins

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin help keep the deep web in business.

3. Cloud Computing

By hosting their criminal malware with reputable firms, hackers are much less likely to see their traffic blocked by security systems. A recent study suggested that 16 percent of the world’s malware and cyberattack distribution channels originated in the Amazon Cloud.

4. Crimeware

Less skilled criminals can buy all the tools they need to identify system vulnerabilities, commit identity theft, compromise servers, and steal data. It was a hacker with just such a tool kit who invaded Target’s point-of-sale system in 2013.

5. Hackers For Hire

Organized cybercrime syndicates outsource hackers-for-hire. China’s Hidden Lynx group boasts up to 100 professional cyberthieves, some of whom are known to have penetrated systems at Google, Adobe, and Lockheed Martin.

6. Multilingual Crime Call Centers

Employees will play any duplicitous role you would like, such as providing job and educational references, initiating wire transfers, and unblocking hacked accounts. Calls cost around $10.

How to Access the Dark Web’s Wares

Anonymizing Browser

Secret Search Engines

Future Crimes

Criminal Wikis

Carefully organized wikis list hidden sites by category, such as Hacks, Markets, Viruses, and Drugs. Descriptions of each link help curious newcomers find their desired illicit items.

Hidden Chatrooms

Just as in the real world, online criminals looking to obtain the most felonious material must be vouched for before they can transact. A network of invitation-only chatrooms and forums, hidden behind unlisted alphanumeric Web addresses, provides access to the most criminal of circles.

This article was adapted from Marc Goodman’s book Future Crimes, which was published in February. It originally appeared in the April 2024 issue of Popular Science, under the title “The Dark Web Revealed.” All text © 2024 Marc Goodman, published by arrangement with Doubleday, an imprint of The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

How To Disable Floc In Google Chrome.

If you are using Google Chrome but aren’t happy about the new FLoC cookie alternative that Google is planning to use moving forward. This article will show you how to disable FLoC in Google Chrome. Alternatively, you could switch to one of the other browsers that have refused to adopt Google’s new FLoC system.

Related: How to password protect the My Activity page of your Google account.

If you’re fairly locked into your ways and have a lot of extensions installed on Chrome, you’ll want to switch to Microsoft Edge. However, if you’re more privacy inclined and aren’t an extension junkie, Firefox is the best option.

Download Mozilla Firefox.

Quick steps to disable FLoC in Google Chrome:

Open and update Google Chrome Canary to version 93.0.4528.0 or newer.

Type or copy and paste chrome://flags/#privacy-sandbox-settings-2 into the address bar and press Enter.

Change the drop-down menu next to Privacy Sandbox Settings 2 to Disabled.

Restart Google Chrome and the change will take effect.

How do you disable FLoC in Google Chrome? Don’t use FLoC in Google Chrome.

For the time being the ability to disable FLoC is currently only available in Google Chrome Canary, so you’ll need to make sure you have version 93.0.4528.0 or newer installed on your device. Once you have the latest version, open Chrome and do the following.

Type or copy and paste chrome://flags/#privacy-sandbox-settings-2 into the address bar and press Enter.

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