Google officially announced the inclusion of page load time in to the Google Algorithm, but what I would like to know is if it affected anyone?
Unfortunately the host I am moving away from (Servage) Has been slowing down at an alarming rate over the past couple of years. This resulted in a SERPS drop of every single website I had on their hosting services, but not on my other hosts which have reasonable page load times).
I was just wondering if anyone else noticed any dramatic changes in the SERPs of their websites due to page load times?
Just wondering, because of the timing of your post, if what you are seeing might be connected to Google's Mayday Update.
http://www2.webmasterradio.fm/office-ho … ay-update/
Does this mean that articles with more pictures, charts, graphics, etc. might actually have some kind of negative effect (depending on the host)? Or does it depend strictly on the host itself?
I'm sorry that I don't know enough to comment intelligently.
Not at all, that is an increibly god question which I had not thought of, and don't know the answer to!
I might try and raise this with Matt Cutts. I would however say that the benefit of interactive content is greater than the penalty for load times.
Mindyou, I find that pages that have facebook buttons take ages to load, because it seems to take facebook ages to respond and pull in their button image.
Google has just announced it's improving the speed of Adsense loading:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/23 … _overhaul/
"Google has admitted that its AdSense text ads can account for 12 per cent of a webpage's load time, but the company is testing a revamped script designed to minimize the amount of time Google ads spend blocking pages."
I think page load time on its own probably plays only a very small part of the algorithm, but should not be ignored. That said if an image or 2 helps make content more usable I would personally lean towards usability. Its not just images that slow pages down, poor coding, multiple http requests, using frames and depreciated tags that throw browsers into quirky mode all add up.
Use firefox Firebug, and search on mozilla for page speed, it should give you a plugin that lets you measure page speed and what is affecting page load time.
alternatively you can use sites such as http://www.webpagetest.org/
Hope this helps!
Oli, I did find some sites that let you test the time - and one of my sites is a bit slow to load.
What I'm saying is, I have no clue what I could do about that. I dont want to lose my image headers.
Took about 1/4 off my load times!
Just copy and paste all your common scripts into one master .js file. If you have a page that requires a unique script i would keep that separate though.
I have a site running on a server that doesn’t support gzip, guess I should move it when it comes time to renew the hosting
I just moved to Hostgator and after your post, I looked into the gzip option. Looks like they don't support it either.
You dont have to use gzip, although I know hostgator supports Gzip, since it lists it as an option for sql import/export.
YOu can also use deflate, which is very similar.
Try installing firebug and google pagespeed (it's in google webmaster tools)
Once you have done this, run speed test and check what it says about compression.
If it mensions compression problems, add hte following to your .htaccess files,
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
Thanks Oli, I'm a little nervous about messing with my .htaccess files in case I break something. Where do I add that code?
I just checked using pagespeed and all my sites are about the same, the worst being 79/100 and the best 84/100. Is that good, bad or indifferent?
thats pretty reasonable i think, most of mine are around that level.
Just append the code to the end of the htaccess file
That's reassuring. I forgot to check one, and unfortunately it's down at 73.
See, this is how clueless I am, I didn't know whether to add it at the beginning or the end.
I have a class to teach this arvo so I'll work on it tomorrow. Thanks again!
It doesn't really matter, just as long as you don't put it in the middle of a bit of code you should be fine!
htaccess was, and still is, a bit of a mystery to me as well. It's never been important enough for me to research properly, but it crops up inconveniently all the time.
Just realised you're probably wondering what on earth an "arvo" is. It's Australian for afternoon.
Very helpful, will try this in the mean time for the site I can’t gzip. Thanks Oli.
I have been hearing about it as a ranking factor before Google officially announced it. To answer your question, I don't think it has affected me in a bad way. I use Bluehost and I haven't noticed any loading speed issues till now.
Edit, okay maybe Hostgator doesn't support gzip on it's shared servers, only the SQL servers!
Now I have to ask a really silly question.
Where the %^^& is the .htaccess file?
I do a search for it on cpanel and up comes a list of results, which tells me that one exists for each website (which is what I'd expect).
The instructions then say "double click on the file to open it". When I do, I get taken to the file location - but there's no .htaccess file showing.
htaccess files can cause problems, because the file is named .htaccess (Kind of like no filename with htaccess as the extension.
I apologise for my appalling spelling earlier by the way, been drunk a lot the last few days, world cup and all!
If you use the control panel go to the root directory of your website, there should be a .htaccess file there.
If there is not, create a blank notepad/wordpad document, upload it to the webserver, rename it to '.htaccess' remember the '.' and then edit it, and insert that code!
However, you should have a .htaccess file there if you are using the latest version of wordpress!
Yep, that's where I'm looking. Like I said, it's totally weird because I can use the search function on cpanel and it lists all of the .htaccess files for all my websites, exactly where I'd expect them to be. But when I go and actually look in each directory, it's invisible. Tearing my hair out here!
That is very weird, I would get cuteFTP, really good FTP program, and makes it very easy to do things like this.
Not too familiar with hostgator yet, but,
Go to cpanel, click on File Manager
A box should come up asking you to choose the location you want to access, in this box there is a checkbox which talks about hidden files, makesure that this is checked for show hidden files.
If this box is not checked .htaccess files will not appear!
Also, just so you are aware, A htaccess file in a root directory will apply to all sub directories, unless a subdirectory has another htaccess file in it. In this case that htaccess file will control that subdirectory, and all of it's child subdirectories. Unless there is another htaccess file in one of thsoe subdirectories.
This means you might need to edit a few HTaccess files.
I don't get a box asking me to choose a location. File Manager takes me straight to a screen showing my folders. The search function tells me that each of my websites has its own .htaccess file so you're right, I'll have a bit of editing to do if I ever get my hands on the elusive little buggers.
I do think there must be a setting somewhere relating to hidden files, but I'm stuffed if I can find it!
However, I have to thank you so much for telling me about Firebug. I've been playing with it today with one of my sites, which is now rated as 82 with a little yellow triangle, which means it's not doing too badly. If I ever sort out the .htaccess problem I'll really be laughing!
ASP.NET based sites are doomed..most of asp.net sites take a lot of time to render.
Asp.net sites are only slow if they are poorly coded, not sure how tat is relevant though
yeah. But most of asp.net sites on windows shared hosting server has poor performance anyway. lol
@Marisa, ASP.NET is programming language in .NET framework. It's similar to PHP when it comes to web development. As oli said, you don't need to think about it cause you're on shared linux server of hostgator.
Not something you will ever have to worry about!
I have only messed around with it in a few corporate settings.
Did you get your hostgator sorted?
Yay! I finally worked out how to find the hidden files. Simple really - just hit "reset interface" on the front page. D'uh.
I also found there is a thing called Website Optimiser on cpanel which does the compression for you. You can compress all or select which types of files you want, this is recommended:
I just tried it, and my sites are all over 80 now. Yippee!
I might have to check out the website optimizer!
Just out of interest did it do things like compress images, or did it automatically include coding to compress files sent to the reader?
I read that after announcing this, google also said it is just one of many factors, and load speed probably effects about 1% of search results. To me the bigger issue is that, if your page or site is slow to load, human visitors will probably give up and leave. To me, the bigger issue is humans, and fast loading is good! Steve
Fortuantely while a website load time might be as much as 6 to 9 seconds (that's a website with adverts wordpress average) most of the page loads within 2-3 seconds, do your visitors are not kept waiting.
And while 1% might not seem like much, you have to remember that nearly all the webpages on google do not even make it in to the top ten page of Google. Most of these will never really change position because they are already 'far down'.
Most of the ones who have been affected are those that use shared server hosting packages, which means a lot of people like me have apparently been affected.
That seems to be the concensus of a fair numebr of SEO writers at any rate, and judging by how my hosted wordpress articles have dropped and my blogger ones haven't, I can assume they are about right.
wow... I would agree that if your page or site is taking up to 6 to 9 seconds to load, that is way too long! I would probably move on!
I tend to use a lot of text (which loads instantly) and I try to keep the images under control.
A few seconds may not seem like much, but it can be an eternity to a random surfer... who will more than likely just surf on by!
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