Does Your Page Speed Affect Your SEO?

May 17, 2011

Page speed is the amount of time it takes for your page to load. Matt Cutts of Google recently posted a video on his blog about the effect of page speed on SEO. It turns out page speed does matter but how important is it and what should you be doing to increase speed? Page Rank is part of your pages’ overall ranking in Google search results, although 200 other variables are also included. Page speed is a low priority unless the speed of your website is so slow that Google can’t even get to your site to collect data to rank you. So what should you do to your site?
You probably already know that the best way to get rankings is to have a well-developed site that has useful information to users. While it’s important to focus on the great content no one will be able to see the content unless the page loads in a timely fashion and remember people are busy. The best way to get your site to load faster is to eliminate unnecessary coding and distracting media. Making your site difficult to navigate won’t be useful either. Remember it’s important to have unique content that is relevant to your users on your site but don’t have so much unnecessary content that your site isn’t loadable and people have no idea where to go. This will not keep them interested and they won’t want to go back to your site and your rankings will suffer.
If you don’t know if your site is loading too slowly and will affect your rankings, there is a Google tool to measure site speeds with analytics reports. The tool can help you determine which landing pages are the slowest, if the site loads faster on different browsers, and how the page load time varies across geographies.
This tool can be beneficial in many ways. You might find that your target audience is located in an area that has slower page speed, or you may realize that your site loads slower on a browser that you may have never thought of using.
There are many features that you can’t do anything about that affect the site speed, including the browser the user is using, the Internet connection speed and the distance between their computer and the site’s server. If you try to improve your speed by working on the amount of text, images and media you can also improve the problems that you can’t directly fix.

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