How Does Page Load Speed Affect Search Engine Rankings?

By on December 7, 2013

Ever since 2010, Google used the page load time as a search engine ranking algorithm factor. This is due to the fact that the company sees that the user is happier when the pages load faster. The problem is that there are still many SEO specialists that do not see this as an important factor. That is a shame since we need to always analyze anything that could work our rankings.


Is Page Load Speed Important For Google Rankings?


In many occasions Google representative said that page load speed only has an impact on a maximum of 1 percent of all the search queries. That might not seem like much but when we take a look at the work of professionals in the industry, many reported very strong increases and decreases in organic traffic whenever site loading speed was modified.


We can say that at the moment, page speed is not something that will often impact SERP. However, it is better to be safe rather than sorry since when speed does have an effect, it is definitely significant. It is guaranteed that when load time is really poor or when different other ranking signals are similar, load time is taken into account.


Whether or not SEO specialists need to worry about site load speed is something that is a little subjective since the ranking algorithms are made out of many different factors and equations. However, although the page speed is not seen as so important, by improving it, you can surely climb up in rankings a little.


What Can You Do To Increase Page Load Speed?


To put it as simple as possible, there are three things that you can do:


1. Measure Page Load Speed


Visit the Pingdom Page Load Tool and see how you rank. This tool is particularly great as it also showcase different files that might increase page load time unnecessarily.


2. Upgrade Your Hosting Server


In the case of a dynamic website, it is possible to have many line codes that have to be executed, various requests to respond to and many database queries that all happen with just one user. When you just opt for the regular shared hosting package that is common these days, you might have a problem with page load time since your server cannot actually cope with what has to be done.


You can opt for a dedicated or a VPS server since they are always better and have more resources available for the operation of the site. However, if you do not have a lot of technical knowledge, go for managed hosting with server clustering like what Single Hop offers as it is a great deal in this situation. Dedicated hosting is usually a little too much for regular sites.


3. Optimize Files And Codes


You can easily optimize images, css codes, html codes, server side codes and javascript codes in order to reduce page load time. That is something that you have to consider and you should be aware of the fact that using large images with HTML tags for resize is the worst thing that you can do. The best practice in this case is to automatically resize the image and transform it into a web ready format that is small and loads really fast.


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