After Google began using site speed as a component of their ranking algorithms every webmaster has good reason to track the page load speed of their websites. That Google went out of its way to announce this new ranking factor is telling in itself since Google will not usually publicize new parameters in its successful algorithm.
According to the announcement, the speed penalty was introduced following various experiments done by Google on the impact of mortgages site speed on internet users.
The results are no surprise to someone that started using the Internet recently - surfers prefer fast websites and tend to spend more time on a site that loads quickly.
However, Google has been careful to state that even though speed is now a factor it is not the primary parameter for determining results. The quality and relevance of information is still the determining factor but if your website speed is slow you will receive a Google penalty.
This implies that it is important for you as a webmaster to start to assess the speed of your website to establish whether you could be moving further down the search engine results pages (SERPs) because your website is slower than your direct competitors.
Is Google Timing My Website?
But first, it is vital that one understand the basics of how Google's algorithm determines your website speed and thus your SERP ranking. The search engine uses two main factors when it mortgages comes to mortgages speed assessment.
Your website get more speed points if it responds fast to Googlebot. Googlebot is the web crawling tool used by Google to find and index websites.
Second, your website will also receive a good speed ranking if it records a faster loading time on Google Toolbar than your competition. Google wan't to help you check your website speed and has kindly added a page speed report to webmaster tools, it can be found inthe 'lab' section.
You can use the tool and its report to see you how fast your website loads as compared to other websites. Once you are armed with the information of where you page ranks in the speed hierarchy, you can start to make the necessary code and structure changes to make it respond faster.
You first priority should be to make sure you have no SLOW pages on your site. Page that take two seconds or more to load and pages that are marked as SLOW in the Google Webmaster Tools need to be improved to avoid a Google penalty for your website speed.
The when you have made sure to improve all slow pages go on to make all of your pages load in one seconds or less. Read on to see why this is important.
Having a websites that loads fast has more benefits than just higher search engine ranking and avoiding a Google penalty.
A website optimized for speed reduces the bandwidth required on your hosting service thus reducing your overall hosting costs.
Faster websites also give a better browsing experience as users are able to get information faster as they can navigate through your website easily.
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