Website Speed and Its Relevance in Google Rankings

One particular aspect not to be overlooked by web developers is to make sure that the website loads fast. It is a common problem for eCommerce sites such as those developed using the Magento framework. I recently worked with a Magento web development team but I joined a bit late. The site was already launched when I started doing the SEO. I conducted the usual keyword research, link building, article writing and competitors analysis. i was surprised that website loading speed keeps popping up in the reports of the SEO software that I used.

After a month of SEO implementation, I noticed that that the progress seems a bit slower compared to my previous works and with the competitors of the niche keywords. Since the SEO plan involves SEM using Google adwords as well, I receive a notification from google analytics that the site has a slow loading rate and can be optimized using their productivity tool.

I conducted research regarding website speed and it indeed is a factor for google ranking now. Last year, Google updated their algorithm and it now includes the loading speed of the website as one of the basis of ranking a website in their SERP (Search Engine Result Page). According to google, they have to add website speed as a factor for it creates a happy experience for the user when a website loads fast plus it can also save them operating costs for data is transferred faster.

Here is the official statement from a google blogpost:

Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.

There are ways where the problem of website speed can be solved. There are available services in the net for free and for a fee. Even google themselves provide website speed optimization which makes me think that it gives your website a bit of advantage in google’s SERP since you are using their services.

Here are 2 of the most useful tools available in the web for speed optimization:

 1. Page Speed by Google – This is the site tool that solved my problem. Since scraping the entire magento website just to make it load faster and it would be a nightmare for the developers and the website owner for the site has been launched, I recommended that we sign up for Google Speed for it is the only available solution perfect for eCommerce websites. The service is free as of now but Google will be charging a minimal fee when it is officially launched.

Click the links below to know more on Google Speed test:

http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/

http://www.webpagetest.org/

2. YSlow for Yahoo – YSlow is a free tool from Yahoo which provides you ways to improve the speed of your website. Although Yahoo is not considering the speed of the website as a primary factor for their search engine rankings, their tools are effective and very useful.

http://yslow.org/

Always consider the speed of your website, conduct test speed for no matter how pretty your domain name is or how many backlinks you have and well written web contents your website have, it can still be dragged down in search engine rankings due to slow website loading.

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