Field data better reflect the real user experience
Earlier this month, Google employee Splitt Martin (Martin Splitt) explained , what is the difference between laboratory (lab data) and field data (field data), which are used in Webmaster Tools.
According Splitta, field data are more reliable, since they are an indicator of how real users interact with the site.
He told this in response to the question of what is the difference between these types of data in the context of measuring the speed of the page.
"Field data come from actual users, while the laboratory - by a fairly powerful machine is probably a good internet from any point of the world. Therefore, you may see different results ", - said Splitt.
He further cited a hypothetical example of a site test with a tool that uses data from the laboratory of the country where the site server.
In this example, laboratory data may show that the site loads quickly enough. This is because it is housed in the same country where the inspection, so the time it takes to send the data to be minimal.
For example, in this country, the majority of users have access to high speed internet. This further increase the site speed, measured on the basis of laboratory data.
In reality, however, if the user is in another country, then this figure will be lower. More below, he will, if this country does not have access to high speed internet.
Laboratory data are measured with a controlled test under ideal conditions, whereas the field data - according to how actual users interact with a site in different conditions.
This is the main difference between them.
Listen to the question Splittu and his response to it can be in the video below: