Page speed is a direct metric in the algo (one of several hundred) - as well as generating secondary user experience effects that also can influence rankings. So asynchronous loading could easily generate a ranking boost, especially if the third party ad server gets really slow at times. But I've heard nothing "official" about it.
There is a lot of copy-cat mentality going on right now amongst my group of competitors. When one site does something and holds top rankings the others aren't far behind in doing the same thing. Images instead of text for titles in H tags everywhere but on the actual article page for example(something about not duplicating a page title anywhere but on the actual page).
As always do some a/b testing and start small, perhaps with a few pages at a time, and give sufficient time for the changes to fully propagate(2 weeks+ minimum) before assuming anything. Also, do not make too many different changes to existing pages all at once if you need to measure the results accurately.
You know, I can't remember the last time I saw ANY on-page SEO change result in a major traffic jump at the page level(unless something was blatantly wrong to begin with). It's seemingly more important to focus on off-page factors these days, on things a webmaster usually cannot control, such as being spoken of on an industry juggernaut site.
Usefulness of page and off page signs of trust are king right now.
@tedster Your response mirrors my thoughts on it. It seems like if someone did see such a change in rankings it would probably be because they improved page speed. But there's a rumor going around that whether page speed is improved or not, Google is going to start requiring sites to load ads async.
Not sure I buy it.
Thought about switching to Google DFP to try it... but Google DFP is a confusing, useless mess.
Why doesn't Google just switch all adsense to be served async? I really don't understand how Google can have such slow ad servers when they care so much about speed.
Google DFP is hardly confusing. There's a learning curve, but it's invaluable for managing ads especially if you work with lots of networks.
I mean, if you only work with one network/advertiser then you really aren't the target audience for DFP.
AdSense premium code was async for years already, which could be a reason why so many big brands didn't get pandalized.
Disagree setzer. DFP is a confusing disaster. I use multiple networks and have used other tools like it before.
It seems like it's designed to be easy if you want to use it one certain way... but if you want to do anything even slightly different from that one way it's like learning a foreign language.
Completely not user friendly... a lot of Google stuff is that way. Very similar to AdWords. agers who devote their entire time to managing DFP
I hate the way people act like AdSense is the only ad network people use.
Google does that too btw, which may be why DFP is such a pain to use.
@setzer If DFP is so easy tell me how do to this:
I have 3 ad networks. 1 primary and two I want set up as defaults when that one runs out of impressions.
That's all I want to do.
How do I do that in DFP? Can you tell me in less than 10 steps? Because I spent 2 hours and couldn't figure it out, wheras it takes about 5 minutes to figure out using anything else.
Shatner, I have to agree it is not very easy to use.
Over the years I've used stuff like adcyvcle,phpadsnew as well as hosted like renegade and adspeed. DFP is the worst in terms of initially getting to grips. I had to go on the phone to my google rep, could not get the campaigns to go live properly.
I guess two nice features are setting floor for adsense and adsense in a new window. Oh and free.
Currently using adspeed and really like it, super simple and easily set up nutiple geotargeted, capped ad with daisy chain defaults etc. Literally took me minutes.