Founded in 2005, we're a boutique SEO consulting group with big experience and
industry recognition. We help companies reach their inbound marketing goals through
education and strategy development.
 
 
 

Speed Is A Ranking Factor, But Don’t Hit The Gas Yet

Articles from

Follow me on or Twitter (@billsebald)

Like this post?  Why not tweet it! 


Like us on Facebook for one daily SEO industry article in your newsfeed.

Google recently announced that loading speed is a signal to improved rankings.  They even gave us a free tool to gauge it.

It’s always been assumed, but with this announcement it was made truly official.  Did we really need Google to tell us?  Couldn’t we figure out that Google wants to serve fast loading sites?  Of course we could.  Just about anything that is good for a user is good for Google.

But before you go running tests in a panic, think about your site.  Have you been good to your visitors?  Have you been sensible with redirects?  Have you been mindful of bloated code and huge files (image, Flash, and otherwise)?   Do you have a good webhost?  If all of this is true, you’re probably fine.   Sure, run the test, but I wouldn’t panic and put in projects to fix prematurely.

Another note – above I recommended watching your page weight.  I like a good site validated to standards, but I’m not that kind of SEO anymore.  I’m quite sure it’s OK to be a little noisy in code.  Semantics in code is great, but don’t worry about a little bloated code.  Again, run the speed test.  See if Google thinks you have a problem.  It probably won’t be from tag soup.

The idea for this post was from a string I just read on Webmaster World.  I heard a webmaster talk about recoding to err on the side of caution.  Many agreed without the test, simply because they got swept up in Google’s announcement, but not reality.  I thought that was a really useless waste of time without some sort of real reason.  The bottom line – if your page is chunking while it’s loading, on several fast connections, you have a problem.  But I’m sure you knew that.


    Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter on SEO topics from around the web.






    We respect your email privacy

    Comments

    The comments are do-follow. However, any comments that use keyword anchor text as the name will be removed.

    1. Jeff Louella
      May 7, 2010

      You need to look at speed as a usability issue. Your customers want speed and study’s have shown that even 500ms slow can make up to 20% less conversions.

      Reply


    2. Jeff Louella
      May 7, 2010

      You need to look at speed as a usability issue. Your customers want speed and study’s have shown that even 500ms slow can make up to 20% less conversions.

      Reply


    3. Jim McLearen
      June 1, 2010

      Agreed. Bad HTML isn’t the issue. I used to fight against it and claim it, but it’s just not it. It’s redirects. It’s all the different calls. It’s backend developmental issues. Most sites don’t have such backends.

      Reply


    4. Jim McLearen
      June 1, 2010

      Agreed. Bad HTML isn’t the issue. I used to fight against it and claim it, but it’s just not it. It’s redirects. It’s all the different calls. It’s backend developmental issues. Most sites don’t have such backends.

      Reply


    5. Jack Harris
      June 9, 2010

      Very nice blog!!

      Reply


    6. Jack Harris
      June 9, 2010

      Very nice blog!!

      Reply


    7. Logan
      June 12, 2010

      I always thought that site speed is good for site traffic enhancement.

      Reply


    8. Logan
      June 12, 2010

      I always thought that site speed is good for site traffic enhancement.

      Reply


    9. Website maker
      July 7, 2010

      I think Matt Cutts pointed out pretty well the way speed was going to be used as a SER tool. The gist of it was that it was just one of hundreds of factors to be considered, and that it’s real impact was only on determining priority for any two (or more) search results which were identical for all other ranking factors. He made it very clear that in no way was the big G going to weight speed as a critical ranking element, instead only using it to filter very similar results.
      .-= Website maker´s last blog ..New free website maker More magic and features With extra pretty =-.

      Reply


    10. Website maker
      July 7, 2010

      I think Matt Cutts pointed out pretty well the way speed was going to be used as a SER tool. The gist of it was that it was just one of hundreds of factors to be considered, and that it’s real impact was only on determining priority for any two (or more) search results which were identical for all other ranking factors. He made it very clear that in no way was the big G going to weight speed as a critical ranking element, instead only using it to filter very similar results.
      .-= Website maker´s last blog ..New free website maker More magic and features With extra pretty =-.

      Reply