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How long is too long

page load

     
4:23 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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How long is too long for page load at 28.8 speed modem.

Will too long of a page load time effect rankings?

4:28 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Good question. Pages must load within about 10 seconds IMO. Use as few images as poss.

Speed of a site loading wont effect the rankings. There will be a response timeout for the spider though.

4:29 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Page load time wont effect a place in a search engine index.

There is a page called the Jarg0n File (the Hakerz dictionary) that is over 10MB in size, that is indexed and cached by Google.

But I never wait for any longer than 10-15 seconds at the very most for a full page load including graphics.

Craig

4:30 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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If i have a cigarette in my hand, then im prepared to wait a bit longer....

:)

4:41 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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There is a thread on this topic going on at the moment here [webmasterworld.com].

It's a proposition that we design for the lowest common denominator, which in general people see as a below par 56k connection.

It is possible, using layers, to design so that your content text appears while the rest of your page comes down, this letting the user see content as soon as possible - as well as using as many cacheable external files as possible.

Connection speeds worldwide are as follows (source [dreamink.com]):

CONNECTION SPEEDS:


Less than 14.4K bps.....3%
28K bps................17%
33.6K bps..............16%
56K bps................24%
56K - 1M bps...........14%
Greater than 1M bps....26%

These statistics are dated March 2000, so I would imagine that in the last almost 3 years that the amount of higher speed connections may have increased somewhat.

4:46 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the quick responses.

I don't know if I agree about there being no effect on site rankings for long loading pages. Is the consenseus that it does not effect rankings?

4:51 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I would say no, if the page is rich in content the spider will just crawl its way down the page. If the page was 30K CSS and 30K HTML and 1K content then thats just bad design!

Craig

4:51 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm no expert in this at all, but Search Engine Spiders don't pull down files in the same way as user browsers do. The content page is pulled down and that is what is used (to a certain extent) to determine your ranking. Therefore, the Spider doesn't really know how long it takes for the page as a whole to download.

Can anyone in the know confirm/deny this?

4:55 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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This post from Brett, shows what a spider can see and what it does:

[webmasterworld.com...]

Craig

5:45 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Total "Page Weight" is the important factor for page rendering (HTML + images + all related files) but there is evidence that some search engines look at just the HTML file size (not including external files or images).

Another factor may be the ratio of visible content to total HTML file size. So it's a smart move to put javascript and CSS into external files.

Some engines at times also collect data on whether the user quickly Back Button's to the SERP and clicks on another link -- a sign that they weren't happy with the first result. So in that sense, a slow page 'could' affect some rankings over time.

6:01 pm on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Slow page loads do not directly harm one's rankings, but there's an indirect effect to consider. If a page is frustratingly slow to load, other webmasters will be less likely to link to it, so over time such a page would build less link popularity than it might if it were faster. This would make it harder for the page to reach the potential that its content might otherwise merit, both in SE rankings and in direct traffic from links.
 

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