11th January, 2013 4 Min read
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It was suspected for a long time, but when Google confirmed that website speed is one of many factors that influences their ranking algorithms, business owners should have no doubt wheter to increase their website speed. To quote Google (and their excellent page about philosophy):
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Fast is better than slow.
We know your time is valuable, so when you’re seeking an answer on the web you want it right away–and we aim to please. We may be the only people in the world who can say our goal is to have people leave our website as quickly as possible. By shaving excess bits and bytes from our pages and increasing the efficiency of our serving environment, we’ve broken our own speed records many times over, so that the average response time on a search result is a fraction of a second.
Google confirmed that website speed influences some 1% of the search queries, but given the big competitiveness for specific keywords and other ranking factors, when all else is similar or equal, website speed should come as a factor in rankings. Furthermore, website speed influences bounce rates of your visitors, alongside with other website metrics (time on site, average pageviews, exit rates) so it may influence other “soft” ranking factors that Google doesn’t eagerly promote (like links, relevancy, domain authority).
In 2011, on SEOMoz we saw this post where yet another calculation of speed is done by Geoff Kenyon where he reverse engineered the equation:
y = 122.32e-0.31x
In this equation, x is the time it takes your page to load (in seconds) and the result, y is approximately the percent of pages that your page is faster than.
Distilled provided this spreadsheet to calculate the comparison.
If you are not familiar with the concepts and need help to boost your website performance (and consequently your rankings), you can always ask our team to help you get started. We are specialized in improving performance of almost any kind of online business with global or regional presence.
Improving your website speed is of paramount importance to your online business and to your bottom line, regardless of the benefits to search engine rankings. To quote Matt Cutts:
So speeding up your website isn’t just something that can affect your search rankings–it’s a fantastic idea for your users.
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