How does website speed actually impact search ranking?

yunarel

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Could any one tell me that the website speed impacted search ranking? is it true? As sites with more images do load more slowly but they are getting good rankings. why?

Your comments would be appreciated!
 

SEOPub

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Unless a site loads painfully slow, to the point of almost being unresponsive, the site speed is really not going to impact rankings. Google just put that site speed BS out there to get people to improve their site speed with the goal of increasing AdSesnse and AdWords revenue.
 

NahidHasan

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Could any one tell me that the website speed impacted search ranking? is it true? As sites with more images do load more slowly but they are getting good rankings. why?

Your comments would be appreciated!
I dont think that it influence your ranking too much unless you have a site which loads too slow.
 

JoseBarreiro

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Hey yunarel,

Yes the website speed plays an important role in improving the ranking as the website with good speed provides the good user experience which enhances the ranking of the website.

As far as the website with slow speed but good ranking is concerned, the reason for this can be that the competition to those sites is low or Google algorithms have not caught them yet.
 
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SEOPub

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That is completely incorrect.

Site speed does not play a role in rankings unless a site just loads painfully slow, so slow to the point that it times out now and then.

Here is an example. IGN.com ranks very well for many gaming keywords. It gets tons of traffic.

[URLnofo]https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ign.com%2F&tab=desktop[/URLnofo]

You can see the site speed scores, according to Google, suck. The "user experience" on that site also sucks. It loads slow. There are tons of popups and ads on every page that make getting to the content you are looking for a PIA.

That's just one of tons of examples you can find.
 
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JoseBarreiro

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SEOPub

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Yeah, well what Google says and what actually happens in the SERPs are sometimes two different things. Despite Google preaching it, there is no credible evidence of it playing a role in rankings.

We saw the exact same thing last year with Google's announcement that they were going to start incorporating whether or not a site was mobile friendly in their mobile rankings. Despite what they were telling everyone, their little update had zero impact on mobile rankings.
 

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If you enhance the loading speed, you will surely get the good user experience which eventually decreases the bounce rate of your website. So its really better idea to work on the speed of your website.
 

SEOPub

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And bounce rate is not a ranking factor, so again, there is no credible evidence that speeding up your website improves rankings except in the most extreme situations where a site loads ridiculously slow.

But then again, there are plenty of examples of slow loading sites ranking just fine like the one I pointed out above.
 

JoseBarreiro

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Bounce rate can also be considered as the ranking factor because if your website's bounce rate keeps on increasing, it could be possible that Google pay attention on it and if it caught your website with very slow speed, it might be possible that it will degrade the ranking of your website.

Rest is up to Google, as whats the core of its algorithm is just known by Google itself.
 

SEOPub

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Bounce rate is not a ranking factor for two reasons.

1) Google does not have bounce rate data on most of the websites on the internet, so how can they factor it in?

2) Bounces are not necessarily a bad thing. If you search for the answer to something and find a webpage that gives you that answer but don't visit any other pages on the site, why would that be a negative? The page gave you exactly what you were looking for.
 

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I can see what you are saying here... no Google does not have bounce rate data on traffic using the Bing engine, or Yandex or direct traffic or whatever else. BUT.. Google does have 100% of the data needed to make considerations within the traffic it controls.

I would like to think that bounce rate is a bit more than going to a page and then coming back to Google. I would say that Hummingbird plays a part in this... You make a search "Widgets", you goto a page, and then return to Google and follow up with another search "Blue Widgets" OR clicked on another page from the same serp page - this I would consider a bounce. IF however you did a search for "Widgets" visited a page and then came back to Google and did a search for "Black Suede Tuxedo Shoes" there could be a determination made that the page that was visited for "Widgets" satisfied the users querry. This I would then classify as NOT a bounce.

Google listings are determined by variables that Google obviously can control and monitor. What happens outside of Google does not make a damn difference. Even with that I think there is also some deeper considerations in this that could be made. If for example you have internet service at your house.. and you again for example are using Google's Fiber Optic Service.. does not Google then have FULL access to user data REGARDLESS destination ownership? Go a step further into this and understand Google makes some pretty hefty investment in the internet itself... backbone infrastructure... and this discussion takes on a whole new twist.

Do a quick search for: "Google investment in internet infrastructure" and the numbers are staggering.. you can go ahead and read the articles discussing the greater good and blah blah blah.. yeah right. Google is a Data collection company.. all of its products and services do 1 of 2 things. Collect data, or dispense that data in a usable manor.

to suggest Bounce is NOT a factor is a bit over the top... How much of a factor..thatcould be a discussion worth having.
 

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Its good to see that you find my post informative. Thank you too. yunarel
 

webygeeks

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As we all know that Search Engine are trying to provide user friendly search Results and if the website loading is too slow, then user also disappointed and he or she left that website without visit due to this Bounce rate also increases.
For these reason website speed is also an important Ranking Factor
 

savidge4

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When you look at page load as a variable unto itself... Its real easy to reduce it down to about meaningless with the exception of exceptionally long load times. We can reduce the overall effect and poor user performance to a UX related issue... it takes to long to load people leave the page. wait... people leave the page? Couldn't we then say that page load is directly related to bounce rate? as seen in this thread: https://www.webmastersun.com/threads/11931-Why-bounce-rate-of-a-site-so-important-in-SEO

the same parallel discussion as the one above is being played out. Google doesn't know, they cant tell this, they cant do this... I think this type of thinking is a bit short sided. Google spider goes to your site and says "hey this site is slow" Google then compares its KNOWN data ( GA and SERP data to name but 2 known avenues of data ) and says the slow load is effecting overall UX and the site shouldn't be ranked as well.

Page load and Bounce Rate go hand in hand. YES, there are exceptions to this concept. As brought up in this discussion, IGN blows monkeys.. but really look at how IGN loads - then REALLY look at how IGN loads. It stacks its loading, this is not done randomly by the nature of some pre determined load sequence.. there is intention in the way that site works.

What's the first thing that loads? the page title correct? then the rest of the content you wanted to see.. its right there.. then the damn opaque full screen popup, then all the ads.. and the carrot is right there in front of your face.. you are going to read the damn article if it kills you. They are in effect increasing onpage times, decreasing bounce rate ( scarry but true ) and diminishing the ill effect of poor load time. Basically using a multitude of known SEO variables, to diminish the effect of another.

With 200+ SEO variables at play.. looking at the effect of any one, is fruitless.. how that ONE plays with others, and how it can diminish or be diminshed by the effect of others is whatreally needs to be look at and understood.
 

malikshahid3232

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As the speed of the site affect the ranking?

Firstly, if you expected that the speed of loading web site greatly affect the ranking of your site, it should be clarified that it is not. You will not find a direct correlation, ie, sites with low ratings can be loaded quickly, and vice versa.

The results depend on the index, which is used for measuring the speed of loading web site. For example, if we take into account the time required to download the first byte of the webpage, then it turns out that this factor has influenced the sick, because the sites where the first byte is loaded very quickly, tend to have a higher ranking in search engines.

If you take other factors into account - such as the time required to load the main content or the time it takes to load the whole page (images and advertising), then things are not so simple, because it seems that these two factors do not have a special importance for Yandex and Google.

In general, it is believed that the rate of loading a web site is less than 1% impact on the rating. Google employees themselves have said that they take account speed indicators site, but about which terms in question they did not say.

However, many sites are reporting an increase in traffic from the search engines after they have optimized their sites for faster download speeds. Download speed is a very important parameter for users, so that if your website is running slow, you should think about its optimization. After all, if the site is too long to load, users will leave him even before the site is fully loaded.

What you need to do to improve the speed of loading web site
If you want to increase the speed of loading web site, there are several ways. Firstly, it is necessary to measure the speed of loading your site - or how did you know that it loads too slow?
 

RajeshThummar

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Does the website speed impact search ranking or just increase a bounce rate? As if site is going to take too much time to load, then it may happen that use close that site.
 

jeffhowell

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The page load speed is a known factor for search engine rankings for sure, but no-one knows how much it affects the rankings. I would assume that it can only hurt you if the page-load is really bad...
 

vishwa

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Website page speed still plays a important role in order to use user engagement. However this does not have any impact on your rankings. You may optimize your site for better performance.
 

EpicGlobalWeb

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Site speed is probably less than 3% of total factors.
 

hrishivardhan

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Fast sites make users happy and improve the overall quality of the web especially for those users with slow Internet connections. It is all about how your site is helpful to users and Google will appreciate your site and keyword rankings.
 

HCFGrizzly

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Could any one tell me that the website speed impacted search ranking? is it true? As sites with more images do load more slowly but they are getting good rankings. why?

Your comments would be appreciated!
You are thinking this from a wrong angle. I have said it a million times: Build your website thinking about your visitors, not thinking about search engines.
The loading speed of your website is directly affecting user experience. If a website is slow to load then I might come back a second time, but I guarantee you that I won`t be coming a third time.
Your website is your business and you should aim to better each aspect of it. (I`m not saying to go crazy and cry because you have a 1.5s loading time and you want a 1.4s one but long loading times is a big no-no).

As for the aspect if it is or not a ranking signal: Nobody here can tell you for sure. There are speculations, but speculations are not facts and we can debate speculations a whole year if you want.
 

SEOPub

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Even from a user experience perspective, I think the whole thing about loading times is a bit overblown. Unless they are waiting for 10 seconds and the nothing is showing up on their browser, many times visitors do not care.

A perfect example is IGN.com. One of the slowest sites you will find. It breaks every rule about intrusive ads and a crappy user experience.

Yet, according to SEMrush (which is just an estimate), they get about 10 million visitors a month and rank for over 3.7 million different keywords.

I would actually say that the traffic estimate is on the low end. SEMrush has no way to estimate traffic that IGN gets from sources like Facebook and Twitter.

There are other examples like this you can find, but IGN is a pretty popular one.

I'm actually running a test right now on one of my own sites where I am slowing down a site to see if there is any impact. The test has been running for about 40 days. I have slowed the average load time of the site down by a full second so far. The rankings I am tracking have actually gone up, and there has been zero difference in user behavior. Go figure.

It is not a perfect test because the internet is not a vacuum. I cannot control every variable. Rankings might have gone up because Google found links I built 60 days ago. Someone else might have linked to the site. The sites ahead of me might have lost a few good links. I don't know.

It is interesting though that out of 55 keywords I am tracking, only one has moved down.
 
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HCFGrizzly

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That`s quite interesting. I find it curious how Google is telling us one thing and is doing the opposite. I find it more curious that from the 200+ ranking signals they say they have they told us that site speed is one of them.
With so many contradicting information out there one can only wonder what really are those ranking signals.
IGN is not a good example because apart from Gamespot, it is the biggest games review website out there. But I agree with you, other websites that aren`t so well known are doing great and they have a shitty loading time.
As I said in my first post, it is good to watch your site speed but you don`t have to go crazy about it. (keep in mind that some users still have low connection internet speed. For example I have 4G where I live but if I`m going to visit my grand parent my connection drops to edge...go and load IGN on edge :)) )

Interesting test you are conducting. Can you please keep us updated with the results you find?
Thanks
 

Nimit Suri

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A Website speed should be 3.5 seconds to load .If your website loads slower users will leave your website which means no conversion->which means no sale ->and on top of that you will face high bounce rate which means users left your website without finding any relevant things in your website or they didn't find what they were looking for.
More importantly, Bounce Rate is designed to tell you if you have the right audience coming to your pages and if you are meeting their expectations.High bounce rate affects search ranking.If your website takes forever to load users wont think of visiting it the second time.In this way you will loose a lot of potential customers.Sit speed is highly important if you are a product selling website or company
 

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It impacts it due to Bounce Rate being a factor. If someone waits ages to enter your site, only to leave at the "first bite" then Google would take that as a bounce, which reduces your rankings.
 

SEOPub

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A Website speed should be 3.5 seconds to load .If your website loads slower users will leave your website which means no conversion->which means no sale ->and on top of that you will face high bounce rate which means users left your website without finding any relevant things in your website or they didn't find what they were looking for.
More importantly, Bounce Rate is designed to tell you if you have the right audience coming to your pages and if you are meeting their expectations.High bounce rate affects search ranking.If your website takes forever to load users wont think of visiting it the second time.In this way you will loose a lot of potential customers.Sit speed is highly important if you are a product selling website or company
It impacts it due to Bounce Rate being a factor. If someone waits ages to enter your site, only to leave at the "first bite" then Google would take that as a bounce, which reduces your rankings.
Bounce rate is NOT a ranking factor. You are both horribly misinformed. Google does not even have bounce rate data on most of the webpages out there. Most websites are not using Google Analytics. If Google cannot access the data, they cannot use it as a ranking factor.

On top of that, a "bounce" is not necessarily a bad thing. Just because a visitor doesn't visit other pages on my site does not mean they did not find what they were looking for or find the page useful.
 

HCFGrizzly

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You are right but I always wondered about the following scenario:
A person searches for something and clicks on your website. He doesn`t find what he wants on your page, goes back to the SERP, clicks on another site and stays there a long period of time. This is essentially a bounce. Can`t Google track the activity of the users in the SERPs? If Google can track this, isn`t it logical that this behavior will be used in ranking websites?
 

SEOPub

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Yes, as I said to Savidge earlier in the thread, that is probably happening, but that is something different.

Google likely is tracking that because it can be a sign that someone did not find what they were looking for. With their goal being to provide quality search results, it would only make sense for them to look at that sort of data.

There is no way for us to track how often that happens though. You could have a 90% bounce rate on your site and 0% could be those sort of bounces or all 90% could be. You have no way of knowing.
 

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I see...thanks for clarifying that. And about the "normal" bounce rate you are right. Even if all the websites had GA, the bounce rate would still be irrelevant. (take the example of landing pages)
 

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Because no matter what you read online about whitehat, grayhat, or blackhat tips and tricks...Google values factors related to improving "user experience" above all everything. There is no speculating about this, they have said it over, and over, and it is stressed in their Google webmaster guidelines.
 

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Yes Google has stated that they value the load speed of a website and it is a ranking factor. However, it is a very small factor and unless your site is extremely slow you won't see any kind of ranking improvement by speeding up your site slightly.

Yes load speed does matter but not as much as many people think it does. There are many more factors that matter more. ;)
 
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