As I’ve mentioned many times here at SEO Liverpool I get lots of questions via email. A frequently asked question and something I’d like to talk about today, is the importance of web page loading speeds. Basically, page loading speeds can be important!
Just for clarity, we’re talking about when you click on a website and it takes longer than expected to bring all the elements to the page. This isn’t a broadband problem, you may end up with a page that has no real elements and lot’s of white space.
I’m going to tell you why it’s important from two important perspectives
Human point of view
0.1 load speed – this is instantaneous a 1 second load will also seem very smooth. If you take between 5-10 seconds then you’ll lose potential visitors who’ll click off. There is not a definitive number as some of us are ‘children of the dial up’ and may have more patience. Another person may have less patience or assume the webpage is broken.
Search Engine point of view
About 4 years ago online marketing consultants became aware that page load speed is a part of the Google algorithm. This is important, but I wouldn’t get to hung up on it.
If you use Google Adwords for your PPC then page load speed takes on a more important role. In fact a very important role! It will be part of the landing page (web page) quality score.
This means that you could reach the positions you want and conceivable pay less per keyword.
Factors that may be detrimental to page load speeds
- Masses of Java, CSS or Flash
- High resolution images
- Hosting your own videos
- Frames – if you’re still using frames then you need a website update
If you look at the Google webmaster central blog, it has a selection of tools that will help you determine problems and provide help.
SEO training has evolved over the past 4 years, the fundamentals are still the same, but with vastly different ancillary objectives. As Summit Online Marketing, we go into businesses offering our tailored SEO packages. Generally, we discuss actions, provide robust strategic marketing plans and discuss relevant activities. Sometimes, a sheepish employee will asked this question “can we affect our competitors SEO efforts”?
Let me explain, a few years ago, we looked at the impacts, if any, of negative SEO on websites, and a discussion arose from an article on search sabotage.
A year later, we’re still discussing the consequences and seeing if negative SEO is still possible. In various threads we’ve read, the SEO community have indicated there are still ways to sabotage websites and rankings, from hijacking competitor’s DNS to doing it to yourself by killing your URL structure.
Now, though, there’s potentially more with the impact of new technologies. New concerns about sabotage may take the form of cloaked sabotage or reputation sabotage. This isn’t to say the impact of traditional techniques such as parasite hosting and embedding hidden links has been diminished.
We’d recommend that you need to be the one who protects your site, because Google isn’t necessarily reliable in that regard. (After all, Google is tracking billions of pages.) However, not many people know how to protect their own websites.
We believe that a lot of SEO sabotage attempts involve trying to trick Google into thinking that a site should be penalised and does not meet guidelines. That can be by directly modifying the site (through legitimate mechanisms to do so, or by finding vulnerabilities and exploiting them) and by modifying or setting up external references to a site.
Food for thought