Page Load Times
Another reason to speed them up!
Google announced the other day that as part of their paid ranking algorithm (Quality Score) they are factoring in the page load time. And we assume they mean quicker is better!
Why are they doing this? Well, to quote them ‘Two reasons: First, users have the best experience when they don’t have to wait a long time for landing pages to load. Interstitial pages, multiple redirects, excessively slow servers, and other things that can increase load times only keep users from getting what they want: information about your business. Second, users are more likely to abandon landing pages that load slowly, which can hurt your conversion rate.’
So that makes sense to me. But does this have any impact on natural rankings? While we know that Google says that the two algorithms are entirely separate beteween natural and paid it makes sense that as they are both trying to deliver the same thing, relevancy, learnings would be taken from one to the other.
And while there is no official word that something like page load times will affect your rankings to us it makes sense that it probably does and will going forward. OK, it may only be a small part but view this as a wee reminder about focussing on the user. If they get to your site and through your pages quickly then conversion is bound to be higher.
My view is we are going to see more and more ‘on page’ factors being used to impact rankings, one way or the other so do make sure you are doing all you can to make things easy on your site for your users.