How Load Time Affects Google Rankings

Don’t you hate it when websites load slowly? I know I do. To make matters worse, do you ever come back to websites that load slowly? Chances are, you don’t!

For that very reason, in April 2010, Google started to take load time into account when ranking sites. It wasn’t because you wouldn’t go back to those sites that load slowly, it was because they saw a trend that indicated that you would decrease your usage of Google when Google showed you slow websites. And if you use Google less and start using other search engines instead, Google would make less money from its ads.

So, in that spirit, here is an infographic that explains how load time affects Google rankings and what you can do to fix it.

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

how load time affects google rankings

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.

Conclusion

If you want to figure out how fast your website loads, just put in your URL here. If your site loads slow, the easiest way to speed up your website is through Google Page Speed. Sadly, however, it is an invitation only program. You can apply here, but you can’t do much until they accept you.

The way it works is that you switch your DNS to Google’s servers, and they take care of the rest. You can easily do this in your domain control panel. For example, you can log into Godaddy and tell them to switch your DNS to the names Google gives you. You don’t have to mess around with your current hosting solution, move around files, or anything like that.

In case you can’t get into Google Page Speed like I did, follow the instructions on this blog post to improve your website load time.

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Trackbacks

  1. How Load Time Affects Google Rankings Neil Patel | Amalik : Webmarketing watch
  2. SearchCap: The Day In Search, December 10, 2012
  3. How Load Time Affects Google Rankings
  4. The Definitive Guide to Penguin Friendly SEO | SEO Crazy
  5. Infographie : Comment le temps de chargement affecte le référencement sur Google ? | Le blog de NordNet
  6. How I Grew Quick Sprout From 121,311 to 244,923 Readers in 30 Days Neil Patel | Amalik : Webmarketing watch
  7. What Makes a Great SEO Proposal? Neil Patel | Amalik : Webmarketing watch

Comments

  1. Never heard of that Google Page Speed, seems good. Thanks for that link.

    -Amir

  2. Great stuff Neil!
    Some time ago I found myself in loading-too-long-site situation and our sites were losing some rankings. Now we have different servers and better rankings. Thanks again

  3. Hi Neil,

    I see that Google recommeds improving load time if your site is slower than 95% of other sites.

    Do you have any thoughts or info on idea loading time for a single web page? (under 2 seconds or 3 seconds)

  4. Neil, in our site we are using a service called incapsula: 25% more speed :)

  5. Last week i have received an invitation to this program. Actually i have not made the changes to the DNS because the tutorial for that, is a little hard for me to understand. Any way i will take this christmas vacation to learn how implement this page speed.

  6. Excellent advice. Unfortunately, the more graphics you have on your landing page the longer the load time. Something to think about.

  7. My one concern is that buried deep in the FAQ is a rather vague statement about future pricing. (“Understanding and Evaluating the Service>How Much Does the Service Cost>)

    “At this time, the service is being offered to a limited set of webmasters free of charge. Pricing will be competitive and details will be made available later. You will then have at least 30 days to decide if you want to continue using the service.”

    I am concerned about relying on a service that I don’t know the ongoing cost of…any thoughts here?

  8. Thank you Neil for this Info. I was using the only 1 page and 1 post even I got PR 1. hope this may due to the speed only. Because at that time I was using the clean and simple theme.

  9. Using a high quality Hosting takes the lion share of websites speed , Cashing also is crucial and Using a static domain to serve Cookies is a great Idea

  10. Thanks for this.
    I have never heard about Google Page Speed, seems they are in everything.
    But page speed is also frustrating to users especially if you have many features. Reducing speed is certainly a win-win.
    Thanks again Neil

  11. Hey Neil!

    Thanks for the attention on page speed. I’ve been hearing about this for a while now and have been scouring WordPress for solutions to some of my clients’ OUTRAGEOUS load times (one takes 26 seconds to load!).

    First, check your site speed and actually see what’s slowing it down with Pingdom.

    Then if you’re using WordPress, they have some advice for you to improve page speed at the bottom of their WordPress Optimization page.

    A good set of plugins will help you to:
    1. Cache common page elements so your visitors don’t download them again and again on every page of your site.
    2. Shrink image sizes so they don’t take as long to load.
    3. Combine common files (CSS/Javascript) into one document instead of having them in many places.

    Hope this helps those WP users who are waiting to get signed up with Google Page Speed Service.

  12. nice infographic Neil, I’d like to see some more examples of how improving slow load time has improved other sites bottom line.

    Do you think hosting your entire wordpress site through a cdn is the best way to make your site as fast as possible?

  13. Just applied for that Google Page Speed. Thanx for sharing your thoughts with us!

  14. Thanks Neil. This helps. We explain the same to our clients when they request heavy flash based pages. Now that a industry leader like you have written this article we can point them to this article and ask them to rethink their flash heavy requests.

    • Get good grades in college :

      Nice observation, and it never ceases to amaze that they keep requesting flash heavy pages, maybe for an adolescent audience, but for older adults it still boggles the mind to wonder they even want that. At least now Neil has been kind enough to give us an authoritative source to point to with better advice and why it could matter.

    • Sounds good, happy that this post is useful as a reference for you.

  15. Their are lot of free stuffs which can help you a lot. You may give try to cloudflare ( its free CDN ), cdnjs ( free JavaScript hosting CDN ), Google’s AJAX Libraries CDN, Google drive ( can be used as CDN : http://blogvkp.com/using-google-drive-as-cdn/ )

    All these stuffs are best to optimize your website for real internet, but you have to work hard for mobile internet.

    I wish I am providing useful information. And as usual your post is amazing.

  16. Hey Neil,
    I never heard about Google Page Speed.
    Recently I started using CDN and I have changed my DNS Server’s name. So should I change it again if i want to use Google page speed?

  17. I totally forgot about page speed since my last site. Glad I came across this and refreshed my brain. I have a 6 second load time so its time to get rid of some extra junk that I am loading.

  18. Shouvik Mazumder :

    Thanks for sharing neil.

  19. another master piece from u.., i know about google page speed but i don’t know that they will provide service..,anyhow article is pretty interestingly written..,

  20. I’ve applied to it but do you think it is completely safe to do so? I am really not sure about using it

  21. You wrote “Google can monitor load time in 2 ways: chrome and google toolbar”
    By chrome you mean? I think GA is a nice addition here, since tracking beacon also tracks all the navigation latency etc http://www.igvita.com/2012/04/04/measuring-site-speed-with-navigation-timing/

  22. Hi Neil,

    Google developed a mod_pagespeed module for Apache webservers that automatically optimizes web pages and their resources (images, css, javascript).

    It made my website a lot faster.

    I don’t know if I can link in the comments, but I wrote about it here: http://www.detailedsuccess.com/how-to-make-your-website-5-times-faster-with-one-button-click/

    A very easy way to make your website faster, if your hosting allows that module.

  23. What are the most common design elements and server setups that slow a website down?

  24. Its awesome Neil i have tried to make my website to load speed, i don’t know that Google offers these type of service till i read your article. Now I’m happy if they accept my website.

    Thanking you !

  25. Superb post Neil, thanks. Website loading speed should be of priority to owners, not only you will lost your google search rank but you will be shadowed by social media sites.

  26. Have you or anybody else used WP Engine yet? Seems to be the in thing for speeding up WordPress sites at the moment.

  27. Thanks for sharing this, if this info shown with an example site, it could be reliable.

  28. It is nice to see how little changes to a site affect speed.
    I monitored by main site with pingdom and by just adding one more request (an ad hosted on an affiliate network) loadtime increased by 55 ms. Not much, but when the inital loadtime was 130 ms, it is an increase of 42%. Actually you don’t feel it as the site still is blinding fast, but things add up.

    Neil,
    I cannot say it often enough – Your posts on website speed are really helpful and you should compile them as a short report to attract future subscribers.

    All the best
    Tom

  29. Here are some issues I brought up from another source as pertaining to how Google rates websites and would appreciate your candit views on the issues I brought up.

    As pertaining on your article of ‘More Guidance Building High-Quality Sites and in regards to information trust issues,giving credit card information,Mass produced content,Is my site that of Authority status.

    Here are my questions as in order of above

    1.How can one determine just what is really real out there on the internet and far as research goes how do we know for sure that information is accurate?

    2.As far as giving your credit card information who can you trust unless one can enter an online store in person and I do not think that will happen for some time yet to come

    3.Well my prospective on content isn’t it pretty much duplicate content or having been spinned after it leaves the first person who wrote that news report or article.

    4 How long do you think it takes for a website with all the restrictions and guidlines that Google has in place today to become that Authority site. Maybe my site would reach those authoriy credentials if it where featured on Google or some News reporting site.
    As we all know it takes many hard years and still with no gurantees that my website would ever get any kind of rank with Google let alone look like an authoritative figure with Google

    Kenneth C Young

    • Here goes:

      1. I am not 100% sure…
      2. I would agree. Some people have no issues, while others do.
      3. You are correct on this. Everyone has a spin or variation on it.
      4. It depends. I have seen it take years or months in the case of PandoDaily.

  30. So how does Google accept in their DNS?

  31. Is anyone concerned about giving too much control to Google? I know some people who responded to G’s invitation to post no follow requests only to have their rankings drop. If we turn over our DNS then what’s next. I’m going to check out Vivek’s recommendations first.

  32. Thank You Neil ! For sharing a excellent SEO tips. It will definately help me to improve my site as possible as fast. Does the high quality images and high no. Of images within a pages effect ?

  33. I use the W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin to speed up my site. It seems to work quite well.

  34. Neil, your post refreshed my knowledge. Thanks for sharing, especially the Infographics.

  35. Thanks for sharing nice and excellent SEO tips after use this techniques definitely site increasing in search engines or improved SERP’s fastly.

  36. Hey Neil,

    Its a very good and an important article what you have discussed. And i completely agree with you that when Google rank slow site people left Google. Ultimately its a policy of Google survive from my point of view. I dont see any technical problem of site ranking unless bad user experience. Isn’t it?

    Do you agree with me?

    Cheers!
    Terri.

  37. I was aware of this but not statistically..excellently informative article Neil, thanks for sharing.

  38. Do you find that most stable WordPress frameworks, + WP minify places most blogs and small sites within an acceptable bandwidth of speed?

  39. Great Article. Load time is a very important factor for our company. We’re always working to improve the user’s experience and load time is very important.

  40. Neil

    Do you do your own design? There are a lot of great graphics throughout your blog and curious if you get any help.

  41. Optimizing your web site pictures is extremely vital. creating your pictures smaller while not ever-changing the scale is simple enough to try and do if you have got Adobe Photoshop or Macromedia Fireworks.

  42. Wasn’t sure that they actually focused that much on speed but after reading this it makes sense. Great infographic by the way.

  43. Hi Neil,
    Good Article. When I moved my images from hosting to tinypic, I personally found my blog’s loading speed got better.

  44. Hi,

    I was knowing a little about Load Time of website affects Google Rankings, but your post made every thing clear to me in detail. But I have heard about Google Page Speed for the first time. I really liked the infographic that you shared in this Blog..

    Thanks for sharing such great information with us.

  45. Recently I have enabled mod_pagespeed and Cloudflare for my blog in my Dreamhost hosting server and I could see huge in difference in blog loading time and traffic.

  46. Hi Neil,
    Great infographic explaining about page loading speed and google ranking. While reading your post, a question sudden arise that how to improve my blog loading speed? And the post which you have referred at last to make blog insanely fast is really very helpful.

    Thanks for sharing such helpful content.

  47. I have seen countless of well designed Websites that take AGES to load. To me a good experience includes everything, including speed.

  48. Hi Neil,

    I am glad that I am here! Although what you are sharing here is something way beyond my current knowlwdge base. I can see the logic in what is mentioned here. I will come back for another visit when the timing is right.

    I am a big fan of oursourcing. What would you suggest to someone like me who do not really like to stick my hands into the technology side?

    Thanks in advance, Neil.

    Viola Tam – The Business Mum

  49. I was not aware of this fact. Now removed all the 3rd party widgets and now blog has loading speed of 92
    Thanks for the Post!

  50. Hey,

    I never heard before about this and this is very helpful and can take to start improving their sites speed, appreciate it.

    Thanks!

  51. Thank you Neil for best sharing. this is new topics for me and try to get some clues from your post. in future i will care in Insight PageSpeed.
    Thank you Again.

  52. Thanks Neil for sharing such an important information. I will definitely going to implement on my website to increase the load time of my website.

  53. well, Loading time effects a lot. If your website has good loading time then you can convert many visitors because they will move in your website easily !
    Thank you

  54. Before reading this i didn’t know that there is something called Google Page Speed. I will try now.

    and i have word press site so hopefully i can make it fast.

    Thanks.

  55. It`s true that your page load time can infact increase your google rankings but also a fast loading site can have a major effect on your sites readers as well. Nobody likes having to wait on a site to load when they can just visit another site on the same topics or subject. Thanks for sharing this with us…

  56. thanks for telling about google page speed. Your content helped me.i m thankful.

  57. that was really helpful, is there any other method listed above to increase the speed of website, my website is bit slow in chrome, but for mozilla it works well

  58. thank you for telling about increase speed of google page and highly access the page speed

  59. At the end of the day no one likes waiting for pages to load its just so simple, so I don’t see the point in even talking about it really. The question answers itself. When I think about dial up from back in the day it makes me nervous and tense.

  60. I like how you wrote this. You have made your points with unique thoughts and content. Your points are so clear and concise your readers can determine what they agree with and what they don’t.

  61. I didn’t know load time could affect google rankings!! Nice find!!

  62. I’m not surprised by this. Google has to find new ways to filter out clunky and junk websites. Plus spammers and sploggers are always trying to find new ways to game the Google system.

    There are probably tons of ways to help your rankings just have try new things sometimes.

  63. Hello!,,,

    Hi!,,,Its awesome Neil i have tried to make my website to load speed, i don’t know that Google offers these type of service till i read your article. Thank you so much,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,..

  64. hey Neil i think that you have search for writing this post in this wonderfull manner.
    thanks for writing this post .it is really helpfull for me.

  65. Very true. After this article, i think i need to update my wordpress theme to some fast loading theme.
    Thanks for the information.

  66. great tip mate. i will try to reduce my site time by some plugins. thanks for share.

  67. Yes! site load time affects traffic from google. I have experienced it a lot of times on my one blog. So, I think we should care of one more thing, we should use only those ads which does not take long time in loading. Some add scripts take too much time in loading which affects my traffic very much.

  68. Although i love GPS I also really like using http://gtmetrix.com/ it shows both Google Page Speed and YSlow page speed metrics so it a little more accurate

  69. I have done Gzip compression, leverage browser caching, image optimisation and etc to reduce the load time of my website. The doubt I have to clarify is when I wanted to submit infographics I upload them in my blog first then the loading time increases in my blog. What can I do for that?

  70. That’s true. Load time does affect google ranking. I noticed it myself with one of my site.

  71. Hey Neil !
    I can understand easily that how much it is frustrating to wait for loading a website. The important thing is that it can effect the rate of your visitor as well as your customer.
    Thanks for sharing the solution.
    Joshua

  72. I completely agree to this that page load time affect the Google rankings and serps. Important thing is to make sure site is not loading any scripts from outside which may cause slowdown. Moreover the images on the website should not be too heavy (keep them low upto 200KB for all images). This should reduce the loading time. Best thing would be to reach load under 5-10 secs max…

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  74. yes Google page speed is really doing good, one of my friend is using this feature with a shared hosting account. we both using same hosting account and his blog’s speed is quite better that mine. i can’t use this services because i am waiting for an approval yet.

    • Gaurav, that is great to hear. I think you can optimize your blog to make sure your speed gets improved. Let me know your progress and if you need any help along the way!

  75. Great post sir, we have to improve the loading speed of our website in order to improve our rankings and increase our visitors. Thanks for sharing

  76. Loadin’ speed effect alot to google rankin’ ! betta load speed means more preference !

  77. Thanks for sharing this Neil. I also want to know does Google change the SERP rankings of site when its server is down for approx. 4-5 hours? Waiting for your reply.

  78. Thanks for your valuable information
    http://www.pyexams.com/

  79. manipulating headers of the server for cache boost the perfomance (i’m triyng this right now) … but nothing is better as a good css code

  80. I am sure the people who are not taking Page Load Time seriously will work out on it. Great explanation about one of the most sensitive topic in SEO.

  81. Agree with your post.

    I took the privilege to share this post with my readers here:

    http://howtomakewebsite.ws/seo-articles/best-seo-strategy-new-website/567/

    Thanks for sharing :)

  82. Thanks to the Good Contest. Would appreciate to win!!

  83. Sir, Google have removed the free optimization tool from Google’s page speed insights. Is there any other tool available for free to optimize my blog’s webpages?

  84. Hi Niel ,My Google page speed Rank is 70 for Desktop and 50 for Mobile,Does this effect my Site in terms of search ranking ?please reply

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  86. We know, google really spoil the user by providing quality information on a website.
    And it turns out, the speed of a website is one of the indicators of a quality website and useful for users of google

  87. Please Review My Site.Is my Blog Speed Is Slow or Normal and Give me some others tips about my blog.

  88. I read it in some other blogs , but you have described it beautifully with image.Thank you brother for sharing this .

  89. Hi would you mind letting me know whifh webhost you’re using?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers aand I must say this blog loads a
    lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a fair price?
    Cheers, I appreciate it!

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