How Load Times Affect Your Google Rankings
Did you know that the time it takes for your company’s website to load has a direct impact on your website’s Google rankings? This is because Google is protecting itself, essentially. When Google ranks websites with slow load times, people tend to turn to the search engine less often. A standard load time is about two seconds. Anything that is even a half a second too slow will tend to get about 0.4 percent fewer searches. Any website that takes more than three seconds to load is considered to have a slow load time.
Importance of Load Time
This will get even worse over time. After six weeks, websites with a 400 millisecond delay will receive 0.76 percent fewer searches. Websites with a 200 millisecond delay will receive 0.36 percent fewer searches after six weeks. This is not only true with Google.
When the website Shopzilla shaved down their load time by three seconds, they saw positive effects. For example, they found that they were getting 25 percent more page views. They also received a good 7 – 12 percent more in annual revenue and found that they were using 50 percent less hardware.
Current Standards and Effects
Hopefully this is enough to convince you of the importance of your website’s load time. There are two different ways that Google monitors your website’s load time. This is through both Google Chrome and Google Toolbar. This is equivalent to real end user monitoring, or about what your potential customers will be experiencing waiting to look at your page.
It is beneficial to know exactly how slow is considered too slow. One out of every 100 searches tends to have load time issues that could have a direct impact on rankings. Less than one percent of searches are directly affected by load time, however relevance always tends to hold more weight.
Google says it is a beneficial rule of thumb to improve your loading speed if your page is slower than 95 percent of sites. If this is true for you, do not fear. There are plenty of tools available to fix your loading time. Google recommends preloading, a method by which the most visited pages are tracked and then the information is preloaded to anticipate the user visiting those specific pages.
Another way to speed things up is with deferral, another method that Google recommends. With deferral, the webmaster defers the less vital information and less essential resources so that it loads after the page has loaded. Using these Google Webmaster Tools, Google page speed can improve by at least 25 percent and as much as 60 percent. This is very significant when looking to up your Google ranking. Keep these things in mind the next time you are working on your website and you will be sure to benefit.