Nobody likes slow web sites, but did you know that it affects your search results? Google is on the record as saying that site performance is a key factor in both organic and paid search results. The other search engines might be doing the same thing. So, if your site has always been a little sluggish during peak times, or just a bit pokey all the time, it might be hurting you in ways that you don't realize.
It's always been true that a slow-loading site can hurt your organic search results. Sites that load more slowly aren't crawled as often or as deeply. The spider will spend only so much time on your site, so the faster it responds, the more pages get indexed. If your site loads slowly, some of your pages might not be indexed, which means they will not be found in a search.
Image via Wikipedia
Recently, Google has publicly spoken about going even further, actually using page load speed as a ranking factor. Faster loading pages might rank higher than slow pokes.
But many people don't know that a slow-loading site can hurt your paid search results, also. Google has publicly discussed how slow-loading sites have lower quality scores. For the uninitiated. the quality score is Google's name for all of the other factors it weighs in paid search, besides the standard bid and clickthrough rate factors. The quality score can hold just about any factor that Google determines produces better results, and page speed is one of them.
Not everyone can afford that top-of-the-line high-speed server, but you might want to examine your budget again. If your pages could load faster than they do now, it's worth looking into. Whether you invest in faster hardware or smarter techies, it's important that you make sure that put your fastest foot forward. Your customers always appreciate a speedy site, but it affects your search results, too.
Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.
Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.
Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.
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