The Need For Site/Page Speed
Updated: Oct 12
It is relatively safe to assume that the invention of the wheel started a race to reach a specified destination much faster.
Fast forward to April 2010 …
Google included site speed as a new signal in search ranking algorithms. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests. And the search engine's job is to provide the best possible results in the fastest possible way. The speed of a website is only one factor to achieve ranking, (SERP). However, a payload of relevant content traveling on a slower website will out-rank the faster loading site with low-quality content. Google's 255 algorithms affect a lot of moving parts.
If you take into account there are more than 130 trillion individual pages on the Internet today and on average thousands of new pages are published on a daily basis, you can appreciate the need for speed.
Search engine bots are complex computer programs. They perform a thankless job with the best possible response to your search inquiry. The first stage is the process of discovering the information, the second stage is organizing the information and the third stage is ranking.
This is generally known as Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking. When visiting a website, besides taking note of the number of pages they also follow any links (either internal or external), and thus they discover more pages. They do this continuously and they also keep track of changes made to a website so that they know when new pages are added or deleted when links are updated, and other data.
Google does not have an endless supply of resources. Therefore, bots are designated a crawling budget, as to how much time is spent on your website.
Why Slower Loading Site/Pages Impact Bots Work?
Page speed also impacts search engine bots. Just like human visitors, bots make requests to view your pages. This process is known as crawling, and it’s a necessary step if you want your content to get added to the search engine’s index where it can be found and clicked on by searchers.
Because there’s a limit on how much time Googlebot will spend on your site, slower load times can impact the crawl budget. This means that new pages may not be discovered and existing pages may not be updated frequently enough to keep up with the pace of actual page changes.
Data shows that Google simply has an easier time crawling when your site/pages are fast.
Websites that load fast (think 2-3 seconds) have a small advantage compared to websites that are slow loading. How fast a page loads is one of the many things search engines look at when they determine where to rank your website. Even though it is only a small portion of the ranking, it’s worth paying attention to.
Off-site Factors That May Affect Site/Page Speed
The type of internet connection you have will directly affect the speed at which any website loads. If you’re one of the people who are still stuck on dial-up, no matter how well optimized a website is, it’s just going to take longer. DSL offers a faster connection than dialup, but it’s not quite as fast as a cable connection. And as fast a cable connection can be, it still can’t beat a fiber optic connection.
Your web hosting company and the server it chooses to place your website on can have a major impact on the speed at which your website loads for visitors. If there aren’t enough resources on the server, it will slow things down.
The plugins that make a lot of database queries and require a lot of assets to load will slow down your load time.
The browser you’re using can affect the speed at which websites load. Older versions of browsers may struggle to load certain assets and code because they’re not compatible. If you don’t have your browser set to cache certain items from websites you visit often, you may experience slower page loading speeds.
The computer that is used to access the website can also have an effect on website speed. The cache on your computer functions to store the information you’ve recently used, so it can be accessed quickly. If you clear your cache, you may notice sites that used to load quickly take a bit longer to load again. If your computer itself is slow because of RAM issues or you’re running too many processes at once, you may also notice slower page load times.
Many websites have a set amount of bandwidth. This refers to the amount of data transferred over a certain period of time – typically a month. If you’ve got high traffic volume, that’s a good sign, but if you don’t have a host with bandwidth that can accommodate that, you’ll risk a slower website speed.
On-Site/Page Elements That May Affect Speed
While it's tempting to go overboard with all the wonderful font styles, however, that may affect speed. Consider simplicity.
Image Optimization, for size ... minify.
ALT-text all images
Allows the work of bots to be easier
Images will appear when the user arrives to that point on the page
Generally speaking, the larger your file sizes are and the more files you have to load on a page, the longer it will take to load in the browser. Minify the code and optimize image formats and sizes to keep your files as lean as possible.
The Benefits of Site/Page Speed
Website speed affects your business
Site speed is a ranking factor
Fast sites are easier to crawl
Fast loading sites have higher conversion rates
It reduces bounce rates
Drives more traffic to a website
It improves general user experience (less stress!)
It all boils down to this: improve your site speed if you want happy customers and happy search engines!!
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