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Things to Consider if Page Speed is to Become a Ranking Factor

Concerns About Page Speed and Tips for Improving it

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About a month ago, WebProNews interviewed Google’s Matt Cutts, who suggested that page speed may soon become a ranking factor in the world’s most popular search engine. Speed has been a consistent theme with the company over the past year or so, with the release of various tools and announcements. It has become quite evident that Google places a great deal of importance on speeding up the web. With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why Cutts’ suggestion could soon become a reality. Google has always maintained that it is trying to deliver the best user experience, and by delivering results that load quickly users should get just that.

Do you think it’s a good idea for Google to use speed as a ranking factor? Share your thoughts here.

While many webmasters are embracing the notion of speed as a ranking factor as a welcome change, there are also plenty of people who do take issue with it for a variety of reasons. We’ve had some interesting comments from readers on the subject. Here are some of them:

So, we all have to pay for the most expensive hosting now or we won’t get found in search engines. I won’t be able to host on my own servers at work now. It went from paying for backlinks with huge advertising corporations to get sites PageRank up, Now we have to go with even bigger corporations that can afford to have a massive pipe connecting to the Internet. I don’t think Google mean to, but they are squeesing the poor people of the World out from search results and glorifying huge corporations – Be careful Google!

Page speed is going to be a big political issue. Apart from concerns about net neutrality, what about countries who’s internet infrastructure is vastly inferior to the technology rich countries. Regions like south east asia and central china have much better connections than east africa. Even some parts of Scotland have poor internet links based on the ageing BT networks. Also the people who can afford dedicated servers and high quality bandwidth have a big advantage over the common Joe who has to rely on shared hosting. Does this make google less democratic? or are they just following what they think people want, ie faster loading sites?

What do you think will happen to the sites that are mainly using rich media like video blogs? Can they really accelerate their load time? If not, are they doomed to drop from the SERP?

The speed thing concerns me. Next to a tiered internet its the biggest slam agains the small time net player. Corporations will take over fast and knock out anyone who can’t afford a lightning fast server.

Those are just a few reader comments that were left on the video interview. You can read them all here. You can read quite a few more on this related article as well. Voice your own concerns here.

Regardless of how you feel about the possibility of Google using page speed as a ranking factor, it’s probably going to happen, and it’s something you’re more than likely going to have to deal with. Besides this even being a factor for regular organic results, consider Google’s recently introduced real-time results. The quicker Google can crawl you, the quicker you can potentially appear in this section.

As far as speeding up your site in general, Bill Hartzer recently shared a few tips on the subject in an interview with WebProNews:

And of course, Google has its own tips. The company offered a few on site performance improvement using its Webmaster Tools. Webmaster Tools has a Site Performance feature, which shows you a performance overview graph. This looks at the aggregated speed numbers for your site, based on the pages that were most frequently accessed by visitors who use the Google Toolbar and have the PageRank feature activated.

"By using data from Google Toolbar users, you don’t have to worry about us testing your site from a location that your users do not use," explains John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google Zürich. "For example, if your site is in Germany and all your users are in Germany, the chart will reflect the load time as seen in Germany. Similarly, if your users mostly use dial-up connections (or high-speed broadband), that would be reflected in these numbers as well. If only a few visitors of your site use the Google Toolbar, we may not be able to show this data in Webmaster Tools."

Performance Overview

There is also a section that shows you some examples of pages and the average, aggregated load times that users observed while they were on your site. "These numbers may differ from what you see as they can come from a variety of different browsers, internet connections and locations. This list can help you to recognize pages which take longer than average to load — pages that slow your users down," says Mueller. "As the page load times are based on actual accesses made by your users, it’s possible that it includes pages which are disallowed from crawling. While Googlebot will not be able to crawl disallowed pages, they may be a significant part of your site’s user experience."

Google recommends that you watch the load times over a short period of time to see what’s stable, because you may see spikes here and there. If you consistently see high load times, that is probably representative of what most people see.

Performance Examples

There is also a section that gives you Page Speed Suggestions. It gives you some example pages from your site and suggestions on how to optimize those specific pages. The suggestions are based on Google’s Page Speed Firefox/Firebug plug-in.

Performance Suggestions

Google give more information on each of these features here.

Sites aren’t the only things Google places emphasis on speed with.  Last week, Google launched a new extension for Chrome, which lets developers identify performance problems with their web apps too. The tool is called Speed Tracer, and it uses a "sluggishness graph" combined with other metrics to help users pinpoint the problems that are slowing their web apps down. You can read more on that here.

Are you worried that speed as a ranking factor may have a negative impact on your rankings? How do you plan to deal with it? Discuss here.


Related Articles:

Google: Page Speed May Become a Ranking Factor in 2010

Google Tracks User Data to Monitor Load Times

Google Introduces Page Speed Tool

Google Wants the Web to Function Like a Magazine

Google Provides Tool for Speeding Up Web Pages

Google Launches Site Performance Feature

Google Announces SPDY Application-Layer Protocol

Things to Consider if Page Speed is to Become a Ranking Factor
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  • http://www.controldatainc.com agency collection

    The speed factor is really a good idea. I have found sites on the first page with google that take forever to load up. I usually end up closing it out and gonig to the next one in line. Why would web site owners complain about speed being a factor, people already pay thousands of dollars for other methods of ranking. Speed is really something that benifits everyone.

  • http://bridgerbay.com Tym

    Wow! I’ve NEVER seen Google write so much detail as they did on their Google Code > Page Speed help page. I believe web page speed will be a very important factor.

  • http://www.laokay.com Adsense Publisher

    I think basically this will kill several languages that are God awfully slow.

    PHP for one.

    Foxweb on the other hand is still blazing fast and you can write .htm pages as programs so that not even Google can tell what is static and what is not.

    • http://www.discoverwa.net.au WA

      PHP isnt slow. Its actually quite fast – some of the largest websites in the world are written in it. Yahoo for example. You can also use PHP to use .htm extensions – in fact any extension. This definately wont kill PHP.

  • http://www.discoverwa.net.au WA

    @Adsense Publisher – PHP isnt slow.

    Theres no surprise here. Next Google will say “the biggest speed increase will be the DNS look up. Use ours.” The biggest speed hump is most users computer/browser/internet setup. I know people at work whose wireless continually drops in and out. They dont seem to mind that much.

    Its hypocritcal tho as I find the slowest thing on my websites is the loading of google analytics code.

    Google again is trying to shape the internet into how they think it should work. First they drive everyone into a PageRank / inbound link frenzy and now this.

  • Shailendra Sial

    With the personalized search coming to the fore-front, it is being said that SEO is evolving and rankings are dead. So how come speeding up the website may become a ranking factor and what’s the use of attaching so much importance to it?

  • http://www.infobase.in Divya

    No….I think this shouldn’t be done and I agree if it becomes a factor then webmasters who cannot spend much on their websites will be in trouble. That means if you can afford expensive hosting then only you can get rankings and they dump website’s quality and popularity.

  • http://www.signature.gb.com Web design company kent

    A slow loading webpage is bad for the site owner period. Although the majority of end-users in the UK have broadband now, a fast page load is a bread and butter issue that all web designers, hosting companies, seo consultants and web developers should keep in mind.

  • http://www.linkage.nl/ Erick S.

    Speed is not relevant in a search for ‘secondhand iPod’…or whatever…please correct me if I am wrong.

  • sofakingdabest

    It’s about Google generating revenue. Speed is not an issue. Google is testing on a 56k modem. Who uses dial up in this day and age? Google has jumped the shark. A small shark…

  • http://www.angelconnectionsbylori.com Lori Healy-Reed

    Speed is wonderful and I would always consider it important. However, when page content is overlooked because people are always in a hurry, this makes a site less desirable???? CONTENT IS KING. Speed does not work on sites that have important information and messages. Google must decide whether their rules will lower the value of special information sites. The ultimate result of too much speed is less knowledge regarding vital and valuable issues.

  • http://www.merchantanywhere.com Guest

    Look at this from the USER perspective. I want, say a polo shirt. I would like it if Google served me relevant results that DID NOT send me to a page with a 5 minute Flash intro load time!!! I am sick of clicking on BOZO sites that think the user wants to be entertained! I want to find the ITEM I want and FAST, and I don’t want to endure long load times to get it!

    Serving me the fastest, relevant site gets my job done faster, my shopping done quicker, and my research done easier

    GO GOOGLE GO!

    • http://www.troystips.com TT

      @ In Favor,
      I agree with the 5 minute page loads, but what Google are doing is putting a site that loads in 4 seconds at the top of the serps and the pages that load in 8 secs below it.
      As has been said above, the big guys who have enough money for the biggest pipes and servers are thinking it is wonderful and the small guy suffers.
      So much for tracking as that takes 3 secs or so to load.

      Just another way, Google is pushing out the little guy and opening it’s door to the big boys.
      I am really starting to see how the Native American Indians and Australian Aboriginals felt when the foreigners landed on the shore with smiles as big as a cheshire cat, got what they needed from the small guys and then took over with there might.

      Pretty soon, I see a the little guy going to bing and yahoo and Google will just deal with the big boys… and they damn well know what they are doing too.. Google can Go to hell.
      All internet Marketers let’s boycott the big G..

  • http://www.d2moto.com motorcycle parts

    I think the speed factor is a good idea

  • http://awisersolution.com Boosire

    There is nothing wrong with Google taking Speed as a measure and perhaps showing us the speed on the search returns as an informational tool as is for example their raking level or something but to penalize a site for not being fast is wrong. It should not affect the level of ranking for the site. Let the consumer make their own mind on what is acceptable to them. Sure tell them you consider it slow if you want but do not decrease its ranking because it is.
    Google we need you to provide relevant information not to make decisions for us. If a site is slow (say your own Youtube.com on certain times of the day) it is up to me to gauge if i want to engage with it or not. If you rank it lower because it is slow I may never find a site that otherwise has great content, perhaps even better content or more relevant content for my search which I need more than the faster ones that cut corner just to be faster. I work with http://jcpaparazzi.com for example and it basically a paparazzi site with a great deal of high quality images, they are kept weighty to provide a good quality for the fans, it will naturally be slower than the competitors that compress the images a great deal but it provides a better visual experience and worth more to our fans. The fans come to see photos so they do not mind. Why would Google want to penalize a higher quality site because it is slower? Let me decide if I want to view slower higher quality photos or faster bleached out and smaller photos, just give me the natural results based on content which is why I use you. Give me all the information you want that might be good to know including speed of the site if you want but give me content relevance first.
    I do not need Google to be my parent and tell me what is better for me because of its preference, give me what I am looking for and I will let my mouse do my talking by clicking away if I do not like it but at least I made the decision not Google and it gave me the service I went to it for, that site was higher because it was more relevant based on content not artificial measures of fanatical optimization geekdom.

  • http://www.lcasolutions.com Seach Engine Optimization

    Speeding up the web is all relative to the content that a person is looking for. Say you want to watch America Idol reruns, multimedia sites are slower to load than pages filled with words, so does that mean that a site that is ranking number one for American idol reruns should be bumped down..no!

    I would like to point something out…

    Yahoo directory listings are valuable and perhaps always will be for one reason, they are a real human controlled directory not allowing trash. Perhaps Google should offer a FLAG link on google search results and in their toolbar and then look at the sites that get flagged and decide what to do, you need people at Google to look because competitors will start flagging left and right and Google would need a white-list.

    Google wake up, you need to get more involved in your search engine, all automation is not good, all automated customer support sucks, all unmoderated blogs become ridiculous. Everything needs to be done with dose reasonably.

    some quick examples, you search disney vacation, you get a page

    http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/reserve/listing?name=PackagesListingPage&bhcp=1

    this page does have a slower load time, doesnt mean its not the most relevant, so google would bump down this page because some affiliate has a website that loads quicker with one image?

    I think RELEVANCE should always be the factor. Ecommerce sites load images on the front page its expected… do we penalize convention that works.

  • http://trafficwave-autoresponder.co.tv pj: trafficwave user

    sure – i can relate to the speed issue…

    but 1.5 sec’s my be a bit steep…..

    all my sites are built on wordpress

    and after fiddling for a day (ok, i’n not a coder….:)….

    i had to:

    use a simple, very clean theme – which took me a while to rework into looking like something…

    cut down adsense to 1 block.

    remove all other material from the sidebar….

    and have only one product link at the bottom of the post.

    so yes – for the little guy, 1.5 sec’s is a bit tough to make….

    many blogs that rely on advertising income will simply drop off the face of google, i suppose…

    many of them good blogs….

    in my opinion.

    of course, video, etc is out of the question now….

    back to the drawing board….

    thanx

    pj

  • Guest

    Speed of loading makes sense, but I don’t think it has that much to do with ultra-fast servers and lines. It is people who don’t resize their images, or who haven’t taken load time into consideration. If you want video on your landing page, have the page load first, then queue the video.

    One thing I noticed with ASP.net is that if your app isn’t active then it can take a long time to load the first time while it recompiles. So if you don’t have steady traffic 24 hrs a day, you should do something to make sure your site is kept active all hours. It would really suck if your site actually does respond fast once loaded, but if it is slow at 3AM when Googlebot crawls it. I wrote an Access DB and used system scheduler to open all my sights once every 20 minutes in off peak hours to make sure it is always ready to load quickly.

    This will also force people to write better structured database calls so your page only has to hit db’s once, not 5 or 6 times before loading. It is at least nice that Google’s directions are in line with a better user experience which is what we should all be working towards anyway.

    • Guest

      “If you want video on your landing page, have the page load first, then queue the video. ”

      How is that relevant? I still have to wait for the video to load before I can do anything with it. It’s the same amount of time either way, so why should it matter at all?

  • http://www.my-blog-review.com Steve

    I wonder how many of the comments here are from people that actually run a website..? very few I wouldn’t mind betting.

    I think people ought to be made aware that whilst shared hosting costs a mere $10 / month, dedicated hosting costs around $450 / month, this being the case, it does not take a brain surgeon to figure out that if Google goes ahead with this, then the only people that will be providing websites for the populace will be the big businesses, the corporations, the supermarkets of the internet! Is this what you would call fair trade ? because I certainly do not
    & I doubt very much if the monopolies commission would see it as fair trade either.

    This is just one more kick in a long line of kicks that Google has dealt to the small business man & yes there are some crap sites out there, but for those that do not know about SEO or web development, bounce rate should come into play & cause such sites to receive a considerably lower ranking. By forcing people to spend thousands per year on hosting, this is only going to reduce the variety & diversity of the Internet & at the same time restrict what we can learn & who we can learn it from.

  • Elmer Diego

    This is definitely a bread and butter issue for both web design companies and SEOs; this will provide better products for their clients by way of better user experiences. This might even sway both developed and developing countries to increase investment in IT infrastructure – a true reflection of the reality that an increased number of consumers are making purchases online.

  • http://www.mouse-mat.com mat

    I have some concerns.. firstly has google not taken note of what has happened over at ebay? when ebay started pratting it’s users about many simply up’ed and buggered off… have google forgotten that webmasters are, in many cases paying adwords customers and by default users of the internet as well.. very active users of the internet in most cases?

    Mr Cutts and his buddies would do well to look to legends past… Google is a SERP’s giant but legends also speak of another giant who was brought down to earth with a big thump by a lad called David and a single stone.

    It would be interesting to see when Mr Cutts and co are actually going to ask google users what they think needs to be considered important ranking factors instead of dictating like a group of deranged lunatic. I think answers like weeding out scam sites, adwords sites, abandoned sites and sites that promote race hate etc from googles index will be a little higher priority than a one second difference in load times.

    Claiming everyone has broadband is no defence either, at peak times it can slow down to stupid speeds that are only marginaly better than dial up at best.

    Quality is often a better business model than quantity. i would rather wait for an extra second and have a quality site open in front of me than a fast loading site that is utter s**t and bears little relevence to the query… errr actually its already like that now, maybe thats why i use bing a lot more these days.

    • Guest

      Are they really not taking into consideration the relative speed that other pages visited by the same user happen to load? Can someone with a dial-up connection, a slow machine, and a Google Toolbar completely destroy your site by reading page after page veeeerrrrrryyyyyy sllooooooowwwwwllllllllyyy? Is this going to be yet another way that competitors can screw up your Google ranking?

  • http://www.juegos.gs Mr. Juegos

    I’m worried because I use WordPress which is slow by default, as result WordPress will no longer be the perfect machine for SEO. Another thing, if my visitors are from Latin America and they have poor internet speed my site will be considered extremely bad. Right now my site is worst than 85% of the sites. I don’t agree, is not that bad.

  • http://www.elygantthings.com Elygantthings

    It seems to me that Google is trying to slip things past us all. I am starting to feel as if Google are just really wealthy cyber bullies. To slowly try to take over the internet is becoming a little over rated. The concept of making money is simple. Google seems to be more confusing than their long drawn out instructions. No one entity should ever have too much power. That fatal disease “Greed” has been known to kill people. I would hate to see the day that Google gets over thrown. They are not the only search engine, why are they the ones making all the rules. Who gave them this power, and why does the poor always have to suffer. How about helping the unfortunate. Are there nothing but atheist in the business industry. Is it only the mean, bad, and ugly get to the top. Google should do better about giving back to the community. They only function because we the consumer use their products and services. Now what will they become if 75% of there consumers left their services behind. I know it is a big number, but they should realize that they are slapping there source of income in the face. Wake up Google. Greed will make you fail big time. We are all watching you.

  • http://www.nevephotography.co.uk Matthew

    I think this is a big issue because businesses like mine who need to showcase there images and recieve a lot of work through their websites are going to be hit worse because more images slower site in turn lower rankings.

    This is going to be unfare to our businesses.

  • Guest

    This is really a dumb idea, and it’s just one more way that Google is going to F*** with content producers. “Oh, we’re sorry. Your site wasn’t fast enough for us, so we’re going to serve up a nice unauthorized duplicate of your content, complete with AdSense ads, instead.”

  • Guest

    This is truely a money thing. What made google was its abiliy to find the little guy that had good info on what you where looking for. And now thats going to change? This will become the down fall of google……..

  • http://www.g-mohal.com http://www.g-mohal.com

    I think this is a good idea!

  • Frogger

    So does this mean that any web page that contains flash (.swf) or image files are going to be at a major disadvantage?

  • http://www.acomouterportal.com Bang the fastest loading page ever

    Bang the fastest loading page ever. It’s soo, so simple..

    An empty webpage will do this… OK no content but adding content will slow load times down.

    And… what about all those sites made as a hobby, not the fastest. Now they have to re-write them just to please Google.. Hu! they don’t have time or the money it’s a hobby for them not a business.

    What about HTML5 all the stuff it does must slow load times?

  • Guest

    I’m at the mercy of my hosting company? I would have to display my blog 1 blog per page to get preferred ranking? Nonsense.

  • Surfer

    As I read many of these comments, I’m amazed at the selfish motives behind some of the responses. Search engines are designed to serve internet searchers, not developers. It’s not Google’s responsibility to be concerned with catering to to financial aspirations that motivate many web designers. Page speed is absolutely relevant to information seekers and most users would agree that speed should be a strong factor in the ranking process.

  • http://www.citypisces.com citypisces

    Speed is simply another expense for any e-commerce stores. If every online stores have to compete for ranking by the speed of their sites, then by far, many good deals selling websites will have no “fighting ground” versus giant e-commerce coporations simply because the smaller ones are not as greedy as them thus not making enough to improve their website speed.

  • http://ldii-sidoarjo-jawatimur.blogspot.com/ ldii

    Certainly I agree. The parameter will more strongly filter quality site from spam. However isn’t it only one factor from about 200′s. At least it makes browsing more enjoyable and help users find they want faster.

  • http://irmgardhartmann.com Irmgard

    Whatever Google make, the only thing what is important for an IM is a target List with prospects. With Adswap and Safelists and other ways, you can easy look about the run of this crawlers.

    I mad my fortune off-line, without Google and I must say, sometimes I didn’t understand the reactions of this changes. Sure Google is the number one and I search also there for info, but Google is also an advertisment firm, thats means also Google is an IM as we.
    With this change, Google’s crawler crawl only the IM sites which have enough power, money, for her sites.
    That means for me as searcher, I find with Google only a certain sort of sites, naturally with other prices, Adwords will be paid.
    I don’t think that Google stay with this speed limit, perhaps the half of the world wide web is till yet with slow connections. We live in the time of information overload but when the half of information isn’t if you search for something, you change and so the Adwords clients lose their site seeings.

  • Guest

    Users want speed and quality. Quality is worthless if the users are not willing to sacrifice some speed. Therefore I like the idea of Google enhancing the speed part of their algorithm.

    Personally, I get VERY irritated at sites that FORCE me to load JUNK before I can view the content I came to the site for. When I have a choice, I leave the site and go elsewhere. I think that with Google putting more weight on the speed of the site that websites will begin to discard some of the junk that drives people like me away from those bloated sites.

    As far as the developers are concerned, if they are too lazy to design fast loading webpages consistent with similar competing webpages, they should get out of developing and find a different job.

    As far as the site owners are concerned, regardless of their size, if they do not provide the web experience that the visitors expect, those site owners do not deserve to get high rankings nor stay in business.

    I have my own website for my own company and I have NO employees. I do all of my own web developing even though my ONLY purpose is to sell the products on my shelves. I have over 4000 pages listing around 20,000 products. When my potential customers search Google, those pages come up in the #1 position over half of the time and on page 1 of the results close to 100% of the time. My competitors, ALL of whom are larger than me, one with THOUSANDS of employees, almost NEVER have their webpages even show up in the search results when my potential customers do a search. So using the excuse that the small guy cannot compete with the heavyweights on the internet is totally UNTRUE.

  • http://www.bbdclassicmobiles.co.uk Andrew Preston

    In my opinion, rather too much importance is given to Google’s pronouncements about what it considers good for the Internet, and its business. The sooner that Google’s influence, size and power is curbed, either through legislation or technological developments….. the better for everyone.

    My preferred internet browser is Opera, fast and with features that ease my working life. I can’t, however, use Opera when I access my Adwords account. Opera is a direct competitor to Google in other areas of Google’s aspirations,ie browsers.

    I don’t like monopolies, or near monoplolies. Ultimatelty, they are just self-serving, which overall is bad for everyon else.

  • http://www.mybahawalpur.com Bahawalpur

    Google page speed as a ranking factor is good for people who give their best and a lot of time to improve their websites against the worst looking and worst loading websites. But i think it won’t be a big factor or make dramatic changes in rankings, it is just another part of on page Seo.

  • http://www.shapirit.biz Ricardo Goldberg

    Hello,

    As always you bring us good articles to debate on, keep up the good work!.

    In the past I wrote that I cannot afford to keep up with google’s changes so I decided to lay down my efforts but in this issue I think even though nobody put google as the internet watcher, they are right, on the other hand, they should not dictate us how WE want OUR website to look like.

    As an internet user I can say that I leave pages that take more than 10sec. to load, so I do not need google for that.

    Instead of going and ranking pages by their on load speed and punishing the owner for not having money to buy a faster website provider, they should rank it by page weight, we all know that a 15k page will load faster than a 145k page so this can be the solution to take off the equation problems that can come from bad servers connection.

    Having a low weight page is an SEO advice known for decades, today the internet speed is faster than it was years before and we can afford to load pages weighting more but there are places that the speed connection is still low.

    As always the website developer should focus on their visitors more than google’s demands.

  • Bogo

    Everything that Google does has something to do with their plan to launch Chrome OS next year.
    It’s as simple as that.
    Chrome OS needs to be fast. That depends on how fast web sites are.
    So Google tries to encourage us to build faster sites.
    In the past I loved Google, than I hated Google, then I tried to understand what’s this all about.
    Billions of dollars aside, Google still remains faithful to their original principles:
    to make internet a better place for everyone.
    What’s wrong with fast loading site? Nothing. Just a few years ago people struggled to trim every excessive byte from their pages (remember a thing called modem?).
    Now we have DSL and God knows what and we simply don’t pay enough attention to response times. Few seconds here and there don’t matter much.
    When I see a Flash site with that Loading bar I run like hell. I don’t have the time or patience to wait for something more than 2-3 seconds. Call me a spoiled brat, I don’t care.
    Imagine that every movie starts with 3 minutes scroll of cast – actors, technicians, editors …
    Loading …
    Your hand will grab a remote and fast-forward before you know it.
    Same applies here. Give me something fast, load later.
    As for the “normal” sites – fashion dictates large pictures on home page.
    Enormous images, videos, animatons – very little text and useful info.
    But hey, everybody does it. Why shouldn’t we? It’s pretty. It sells.
    And so things get out of hand, page sizes grow, response times too.
    We don’t worry about it anymore. Why should we?
    ***
    I’ve drifted away from my point.
    Chrome OS is coming. Google is just “setting a bed” for their baby. That’s it.
    I’ve reduced loading of my site from 7-9 seconds to 2-3. Without any sacrifices.
    Just a little re-thinking and some work. Are you afraid of work?

  • http://www.water-retention.net Linda Lazarides

    >>>they are squeezing the poor people of the World out from search results and glorifying huge corporations

  • http://www.absolutemind.co.uk Hypnotherapy

    It’s a fair comment that the smaller companies could simply drop off the radar, but in the real terms if page load speed has the impact which is predicted, then as they say “there’s more that one way to skin a cat” smaller images, cleaner code and so on. But really, there are so many great deals on fast dedicated servers that for the sake of

  • http://twitter.com/jamesbressi James Bressi

    Not only is my answer YES, Google should be using speed as a metric for ranking factor of websites, but why didn’t they do this sooner?

    Is it not hypocritical that it seems part of our human nature/behavior to seek and consume data, information, etc. as fast as possible, yet would debate the metric of speed as a ranking factor to consume said information?

    Is this not why every new communication media that has offered more speed has gained millions of adopters faster than its predecessor?
    Books->Newspapers->T.V.->Internet
    Town Halls->Telephone Calls->Cellular Calls
    Dial-Up Modems (increasing with speed, remember how fast 14.4 was?)->Cable/DSL Modems
    and so on and so on…

    And mind you, it is a factor. “a factor”, not “the factor”. Sure it is going to change rankings, good for the consumer, bad for those who have sat at the top of search engine results but haven’t optimized to deliver their content with more immediacy–in a medium that demands immediacy?

    Back to my first paragraph, why do I question why this wasn’t implemented sooner? Remember dial-up? Even pushing into our current century, many didn’t have high-speed internet available yet. Remember what happened if you want to a more content/media rich website back then? So why wasn’t page speed one of the biggest considerations back then?

    Yes, James, that last argument makes sense, but we have high speed access to the internet now! Yes, I know. But how many of you have iPhones, BB’s, and other internet capable phones working of EDGE (yikes) or 3G? Some websites offer mobile versions, others don’t. Studies have shown the frequency in which we will reach for our mobile handsets to access the information we desire on the internet, and we are human, we like access to information… and fast! In almost all cases I personally prefer the full version of a website, not the mobile version — do I need to make the case for speed here?

    So, instead of asking the question “Do you think it’s a good idea for Google to use speed as a ranking factor?” we should ask “Why are you surprised?” Great SEO’s, designers, and others always had the speed factor in mind when designing great internet media.

    It’s about the user experience and speed is a considerable factor in that experience.

    I can go on for ages, but there we go :)

  • http://speedupwebsite.com/ Guest

    Google must be investing in a speed up your pc product, ha!! Google changes so often keeping up with is a full time job, I found a decent site that helps explains about things to help with slow websites http://speedupwebsite.com/ it has some good videos and plugin news.

  • http://www.camfeellas.com sexarolla

    I think that People dont have to worry about the Page Speed to much. Shure Loading Time is one Factor for a nice Webranking but i think it is much more important to have good Content and stoff that folks like to read.

  • http://www.simonbyholm.com Simon Byholm

    I totally support the idea to include page load speed as a factor in ranking webpages. I also think the speed of the page after it has loaded (think heavy Javascript) should be a factor.

    On the other hand it would be ridiculous if a page loading in 100 milliseconds would rank any better than a page loading in 2 seconds. I’m thinking more of giving a lower rank to pages that load really slowly, like more than 5 seconds wait before you can see any content.

    And it’s really not that expensive to get decent load speeds, any “normal” php+html page with moderate images and javascript should load in under 5 seconds on a $10/month server.

    And if you have enough traffic to your page to really slow down your server, most of the time that also means you have enough traffic to make money from advertising to pay for larger servers.

    Simon Byholm
    CEO and founder,
    Secret Search Engine Labs

  • http://speedupwebsite.com/ Guest

    I predicted there was A reason behind this shake up, well Google is launchin a speed up app http://speedupwebsite.com/new-google-app-spdy-will-speed-up-your-websites.php , seems there gona force you to get it if you want to rank well

  • http://www.pokemontradingcards.net Guest

    I dont think its how big a pipe line your connected to or how expensive a server you will need as you can speed up any webpage by serving zipped content, even if your on a shared server and your server has php you can serve zipped content which all modern browsers understand. This speeds up the content and load times and the internet. If you have a slow site people will click off anyways lets face it, the usa is behind in the broadband race, a lot of people still have slow connections.

  • Str82u

    Personal experience shows good content under 10kb with 20 backlinks gets better rankings than a corporate competitor of larger page size and thousands of backlinks. Other methods of reducing load time also caused a difference for our sites, but I’ve been studying this a few years now, knew this (or something very related) was a factor a long time ago.

    Been using and implimenting suggestions from the Firefox addon Page Speed Google is promoting. Once I figured out some of the features and recommended modifications reccomended, I understand more and appreciate a tool that helps me improve sites performance for the visitors. If Google adds a little weight to sites that TRY to perform better for users then it’s a bonus.

    One cool feature in minifying your stylesheet, jsut watch for those “special” attributes that aren’t supposed to work but you know do. It will replace them with compliant code instead. Overall, it’s a new addition to my SEO analysis routine.

    Keep it Str8!

  • Colin

    Google Webmaster tool says one of my websites became too slow a month ago. That is when I added a link to Google Maps. So, I removed Google Maps from my site. I find it quite amusing.

  • http://howhealthyisyourpersonalfinance.blogspot.com/2009/12/internet-affiliate-marketing-is.html scheng1

    I hope speed is not going to be the most important factor, even if Google includes it.
    After all, those news websites have an advantage over us, small bloggers. Those blogs with mainly graphical content, such as digital image, charts etc are being penalized.

  • Guest

    No, it is not a good idea. It will discriminate against minor websites will may well be giving as good a service or information as faster sites.

  • http://xld.com Guest

    Yes, it is a good thing to rank by speed. I have always gotten frustrated when I get to a slow page. It is inconsiderate from the web designers to create slow pages. It shows not enough regard or respect for the visitor. Pages that are too slow should be split into several smaller pages or simplified.

    • Trickshot

      I agree that slow pages are annoying, but webmasters are not in control of every aspect of the delivery – they do not have an unlimited budget or time available to them. Simplification of pages is one thing, penalizing someone because they cannot afford an expensive server or connection is another.

    • Guest

      Yes we all get frustrated when one comes to a slow loading page. But the way I see it, one has 2 choices, either stay on the page or go somewhere else. Simple as that. The company making the website will soon get the message. As far as Google is concerned, personally Google will eventually go out of buisness with thinking they are the best.Personally, I dont know why anyone stays with them. They have no customer Live service & they mess with PPC. One can do Adwords on Bing for 1/3 of the cost & one can talk to a LIVE person for help!! Google will eventually fall off it’s high horse. BING is much better!

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