SEO’s speculate about many of the weights Google places on its ranking algorithm. For a long time I’ve been telling my clients to avoid scripts and unnecessary code in order to keep load times to a minimum and encourage indexing of their sites. Search engines are lazy and only index a small amount of your site each time they visit. Years ago Google would only 500k of content per visit. Yahoo and MSN would index 1000k. So large page sizes would affect how many pages were indexed per visit. However, on April 9, 2010 Google announced that they would use site speed as a ranking factor. Quote: “Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point.”
Below are some tools to check your site’s speed:
- Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
- YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
- WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages’ load performance plus an optimization checklist.
- In Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world. Requires set up of Google Webmaster tools.
- http://zoompf.com/ Zoompf tells you how to make your website faster without requiring a add-on or download.
How to optimize your site speed?
- http://developer.yahoo.net/blog/archives/2007/07/high_performanc_3.html – Yahoo Performance Rule #4: Gzip Components
- http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/mod/mod_deflate.html – Apache 2.0 mod_deflate documentation
- http://www.dotnetjunkies.com/HowTo/16267D49-4C6E-4063-AB12-853761D31E66.dcik – Enabling HTTP compression in IIS 6.0
- http://www.flatcompression.org/ – HTTP compression for IIS 5.0
- http://www.slideshare.net/stoyan/image-optimization-7-mistakes/ – Image Optimization: 7 Mistakes presentation
- http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/jpeg.htm/ – libjpeg for windows (contains jpegtran)
- http://imageoptim.pornel.net/ – ImageOptim: GUI wrapper for image optimizers that runs on Macs.
If you need help resolving ranking loss due to site speed, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 905-417-9470.