Beware!!! AddThis can badly affect website speed and Google PageSpeed Insights scores

AddThis is one of the free social sharing tools that make bookmarking the contents of a website on various services, such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, easier. Anyone can add this tool to their website(s) by adding one line of JavaScript code. If you have any sharing tool on your website, your visitors can also share your content on social media. More social media sharing leads to better search ranking and more traffic to the website.

Any webmaster’s first goal is to make Google happy since its search share is ~94%. Bing and other search engines are nowhere in the competition. We all know that when a web page tries to download several resources from different domains, Google dislikes it. I am unsure about Bing, but Google starts placing such web pages at the bottom of the search ranking.

Since AddThis looks beautiful, I was using it on my website. One day I tested my web pages on webpagetest.org and found that the pages are trying to download 9-10 unknown resources. Those resources were taking ~1 second to download. I searched for those resources and found that those are the parts of AddThis. Then I tested my pages on Google PageSpeed Insights (GPSI) and found that almost all metrics, such as Largest Contentful Paint(LCP), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), First Contentful Paint (FCP), were awful.

These two tests were sufficient for me to conclude that AddThis can screw up the SEO of your website. So, I decided to get rid of AddThis. I found an alternative, “AddToAny,” which seems very clean, and it also downloads only 2-3 resources. Now all GPSI metrics for my web pages are within the specified range of Google.

You can look at the following two screen dumps and see the difference in the page load time with AddThis and AddToAny.

With AddThis

Web page load time with AddThis

With AddToAny

Web page load time with AddToAny

N.B.: I am not trying to promote AddToAny in this blog. I found it better and cleaner than AddThis for my website, so I am saying a few good words for it.

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