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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Does Website Load Time Impact Your Rankings?

Posted by @ 10:54 pm
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Have you ever considered how your website’s loading time might impact your search engine rankings? It might be time to take a closer look at this as Google and Yahoo! have both brought some attention to the issue recently.

Google’s stance on the issue has always been that page load times do not have an impact in their algorithm – until now. As part of their initiative to speed up the web, Google have said that page load times could become a consideration in the future.

Google’s Matt Cutts has stated that, “We want the web to be faster, we want sites to load quickly”, so it’s very possible that Google could be looking to encourage and reward this through their ranking of sites. You can have a listen to what Matt Cutts had to say about the topic below:

Another interesting development on this topic has been from Yahoo!, who recently filed a patent with regards to webpage loading time. Their patent abstract describes:

Methods and systems are provided that may be used to characterize in some manner the performance that a user may experience when accessing a web document.

The patent application goes on to discuss establishing some kind of “user experience information” which could be used to rank search results. Obviously webpage load time is going to play a big part in the user experience so this would be a contributing factor. From the patent:

For example, information relating to whether a user might abandon or wait for a web document to be displayed may be useful when establishing certain quality or relevance factors for the web document.

With both search engines placing increased importance on the issue of page load times, it could be a wise idea to optimize your load times now ahead of any future algorithm changes. Aside from potentially helping with your SEO, it’s guaranteed to improve your sites appeal to users.



Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at ineedhits.com, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile






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