|How heavily have you been penalized for your site being slow?|
Loss of visitors to my site is a growing concern for me. I am seeing a fall of 30% traffic on YoY basis. And while debugging I found that my site is reported to be very slow by everyone including Google. Inside Google Webmaster Central I can see:
|On average, pages in your site take 7.3 seconds to load (updated on Oct 31, 2010). This is slower than 87% of sites. These estimates are of high accuracy (more than 1000 data points). The chart below shows how your site's average page load time has changed over the last few months. For your reference, it also shows the 20th percentile value across all sites, separating slow and fast load times. |
Just wondering how heavily have you been penalized for your site being slow?
|These estimates are of high accuracy |
Yeah, yeah, I have several identically constructed sites, meaning I use the same template on the same server, FWIW Alexa reports that some are the fastest sites on The Net and others are the slowest.
AdSense on all of them is slower than my pages!
I still construct every, and I mean every page as I did in the 90s, nothing more than 100k. My pages are for users on dial-up who are, I believe, still more than 50% of world visitors.
Much of this is a load of crock in my opinion otherwise how would some sites get away with 1/2/3mb index pages and not suffer a penalty?
I'm guessing your problem is elsewhere.
First thing I'd say is that "penalty" is not the best way to think about page speed. It's a ranking factor along with many others. Matt Cutts made a comment in one of the Google Webmaster Help videos that it only makes a difference in something like 10% of all searches, and then it acts somethinglike a "tie-breaker" when two results are very close.
Now that certainly may change - but I've worked with clients whose sites were reported to be at least as slow as your report says, and they were doing pretty well. We fixed a lot of things at the same time as we worked on Page Speed, so I can't isolate that one factor, however.
I'd say that visitors are punishing slow sites much more than Google's algorithm ever will. So improve your speed for you visitors' sake and your business will improve. Even more, when visitors like your site, they are more likely to help you promote it on their own and your links and mentions around the web will grow, too, and that REALLY helps.
Oh, I just went to your site and it's fine, immediate:-)
My opinion? Old news...do people actually look for this stuff?
Nothing personal, nothing wrong with the site.
I don't think there is any penalty but it is always better to have a faster site. I too saw your site and there are plenty of things that you can do to improve the speed.
I am afraid, the site I am referring to is a much much bigger site than the one in my profile (that's one of my blog :)). I cannot disclose the url for maintaining confidentiality.
Thanks @all for sharing your thoughts. However I still have a gut feeling that its the performance of the site that's causing all problems. Yes there may be X reasons as well which need to be dugg.
Is the reddish background for the site speed graph indicates a warning of some sort?
|AdSense on all of them is slower than my pages! |
I ran a webpagetest on one of my sites that had high accuracy estimates and found out that the adsense was to blame. Adsense was in fact shocklingly slow, ranging from 400ms to 600ms per load which is rediculous.
I had the adsense spread over the page and used the 3 units, 2 link units maximum so I was able to reduce my adsense load by eliminating 1 ad unit and 1 link unit, both from the bottom/sidebar of the page.
Earnings loss wasn't much but page speed was noticeably faster in the next few tests. 7.3 seconds is something to worry about but don't take that value as fact, run a few webpagetest(.org) to see what the real values (and real slowdowns) are.
Many of my sites are "slower than 90+% of sites" (lots of images, videos, etc.) and my traffic from Google is going up (significantly), not down... I think site speed is a VERY minor factor.
I don't think* there is anything such as load speed penalty.
Have you looked into other possible factors for traffic loss? ( for example traffic loss due to ranking drop? )
I think Tedster's response is spot on! As he said, Matt has stated that pageload speed is a minor ranking factor, far inferior to content. Your visitors are your major concern, IMO.
Few visitors will discern the difference between 2 and 2.5 seconds loadtime. If you're much higher than that, however, I'd definitely try to improve it.
I recently reduced my loadtime by over 86%, just by combining my js and css calls.
I'm seeing a lot of slow loading pages, the culprit in many cases is Google. You can see the pages hanging waiting for various Google addons to load. I'm also seeing an increasing amount of pages that pop up with
" Script has stopped working" these days, about every third one an affiliate.
|I'm seeing a lot of slow loading pages, the culprit in many cases is Google. You can see the pages hanging waiting for various Google addons to load. |
I would rather disagree. IMHO it will be a biased opinion if we pin point Google only. The web has changed a lot over the years and so is the way people (webmasters) used to do activities necessary for his website. Google Analytics, Facebook share, AddThis, Wibya, Discuss.. there are so many addons these days that even bigger websites opt to make use of rather than thinking of building one of its own.
Yes this has added to the page loading time but on the other hand it has opened up the web a lot, made the web a lot more easier and less scary. So I see pros and cons both.
i dont think they can start weighting pages on speed, because it depends on stuff that google doesnt know. what is slow for one person, might be super speedy for someone on broadband. so unless google knows what connection youve got, they're not going to screen a perfectly good site from your serps just because someone else is seeing it slow.
that would be like dumbing down the serps, to please the people with slow computers.
I am just wondering why they are showing much info on page loading time, ways to optimize and other info in the Webmaster Central (Labs) where most info is about the keywords, CTRs, etc. I understand that they are trying to sell me 'Page Speed' (I am still sticking to YSlow though). But again since they know I am using GA they are probably trying to link up something? And yes I have a perception like many others that they know everything about my site and I don't think I monitor the GA stats as much as they do.
|it depends on stuff that google doesnt know |
|since they know I am using GA they are probably trying to link up something? |
Google mostly uses toolbar data from your visitors who have the toolbar installed, not GA. With a large enough sample, this gives them a good picture.
Google doesn't care what utilities you use to test your site - they care about how fast the pages load for visitors. How you accomplish that is up to you.
It's interesting to note that the key figure in researching and building the YSlow tool is Steve Souders. He was then hired by Google and worked on Google's Page Speed tool.
|they care about how fast the pages load for visitors |
given that google have said they place little score on how fast your page loads, i think thats it got more to do with how quickly the pages load for them (ie, google).
they have to spider the web every day. how expensive is that? and they have to store all the pages. how expensive is that? of course they are going to encourage us to get page weight down, because it will save them millions. all they've got to do is hint that its part of the algo and they know we will get straight on the job.
not that its a bad thing to get page weight and loading times down, or course. it benefits us too. i just think that its got more to do with saving them money than improving the serps.
Page Speed measures MUCH more than server response to googlebot's crawl. My sense of it is that the weight placed on page speed is currently rather small, but in the future it might well become much greater.
Crawling itself takes only a very small part of Google's processing overhead. Matt Cutts talked about this recently - I believe it was in one of the Webmaster Help videos, and it rings true to me. It's the storage and indexing that is a big deal, and your page speed has no effect on that major chunk.
|Google doesn't care what utilities you use to test your site - they care about how fast the pages load for visitors. |
Increasing page loading time = More visitor frustration = More bounces/exit rate = Less returning visitors = ... = Less credibility/brownie points for the website
So it will be interesting to learn HOW MUCH Google really cares.
|It's interesting to note that the key figure in researching and building the YSlow tool is Steve Souders. He was then hired by Google and worked on Google's Page Speed tool. |
@tedster: Thanks for the info!
|It's the storage and indexing that is a big deal, and your page speed has no effect on that major chunk |
the whole "we only use it in a draw" thing just sounds silly to me. how many times do sites draw? their algo contains how many different pointers.. 400+, is it? sites these days can have thousands of backlinks, 1000s of visitors, and infinite varities of bounce rates, internal links, site sizes, on-page text... the chances of two sites being close enough to need a tie-breaker are so remote that google aren't going to introduce and develop all these new speed tools just so they can split 2 sites that might appear on page 10 of the serps, which no one is going to visit anyway. there's not enough in it for them. its more to do with how much money it saves them to speed our sites up.
saying its part of the algo is the carrot that makes us do it.