Does Google Care About Your Site Speed? Quick Fix, Tools and Resources for Faster Loading Times!
Do YOU really think that Google cares about your site’s loading speed? Of course they do!
We are dealing with an ongoing EPIDEMIC. No, I’m not talking about Obesity, although it is definitely out of control… I’m talking about Freakin’ Slow Loading Websites!
We’ve known for a long time now, April 2010 to be exact, that Google is OBSESSED with SITE SPEED and it takes your site loading times seriously.
You can read the full story Here: GoogleWebMasterCentral.com/site-speed/
Google Says that Site Speed is Important
Google: “Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.”
Since website speed is a ranking factor in their algorithm, and everybody wants to stay in the good graces of Google, you will need to get rid of all the excess baggage on your site that is not necessary or vitally important to your readers and your business.
Steps to Begin Speeding Up Your Site – Rule to Understand and Follow
When I was first introduced to blogging, I was excited to be able to add all of the fun and exciting plug-ins, applications and widgets to my WordPress site, but overlooked and possibly ignored one very important rule to follow when adding these applications.
RULE: The more plugins and dynamic widgets (Example: Facebook Likebox) you add to your site, the more time that will be added to your site’s overall loading time.
Quick Fix for Faster Site Speeds – Remove Unnecessary Widgets and Plug-ins
There are many people out there, including myself, that will hit the back button at lightning speed when I see the loading… loading… loading… spinning in a circle, Ajax indicator.
Getting rid of all the unnecessary plug-ins and widgets that are not vitally important to your readers will reduce your site’s loading time, making Google happy in the process.
The Background Processes
We’ll use the Facebook ‘Like’ Box as an example… when a person clicks on a link to visit one of your articles, the Facebook Like Box widget will need to refresh itself.
This will be a request for updated information to include – scripts, images, how many people ‘Like’ your site, or the live feed if you have it, etc.
In the case of Facebook, according to Pingdom (Site Speed Analysis Site), this FUN Little Likebox of mine makes 27 server requests (like 27 individual phone calls, except at the speed of the Internet) for information just to be able to display the box along with some of the faces of the people that ‘Like’ my page.
Each plugin, dynamic widget or other add-ons that you have active on your site will require scripting, CSS stylesheets, images, etc to make them work, which will require many individual calls to the server.
NOTE: See the image below… my other website, PoorManBlogger.com, formerly, JohnEEngle.com’s home page made 96 requests to the server for information.
Test Your Site for Speed and Bottlenecks
If you would like to find out how many server requests your site, your Facebook Likebox, or any other plugins, widgets etc, installed on your site is making, plus the loading time of your site and what might be slowing it down, run a site speed analysis test with PingDom!
As you can see, with the rebuild of JohnEEngle.com to PoorManBlogger, I did some site optimizing.
I deactivated every plugin and widget that was not absolutely crucial to my business. I went from 96 requests, down to 30.
As you can see the results from PingDom’s new website makeover are astounding… full page load in 385 milliseconds, which is less than a half second to fully load. NOT BAD!
Google also provides an entire speed-related mini-site with tons of resources and videos about speeding up your website.
These are some great tools from Google to help you decrease your websites download speed… you should take advantage of every possibility to have, happy to return because of a good experience, visitors to your site.
“Fast and optimized pages lead to higher visitor engagement, retention, and conversions.” ~ Google
- 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.
Closing Comments About Site Speed and Google
We encourage you to start looking in to your website’s loading speed (the many tools above will provide a great starting point for you) — not only to improve your ranking in search engines, but also to improve everyone’s experience on the Internet.