Pagespeed: the website speed and its effect on the search engine ranking

A fast page speed is not only pleasant for visitors to the website but also plays a major role in search engine optimization. You can find out exactly which one here!

Table of Contents

Every company wants to be found quickly with its website. Therefore, the topic of search engine optimization should not be left out.

Numerous factors influence the ranking of a website in search engines such as Google, such as content, usability, or certain technical requirements.

Among other things, it is the website speed, also known as page speed or loading time, that is used as a factor for ranking.

But what is actually hidden behind this criterion and how big is the impact in reality? And do you need an SEO agency for the improvement or can you do this alone?

pagespeed wordpress

Pagespeed - what is it exactly?

The speed of a website or the page speed comprises the measured time span that a website needs to load completely.

Of course, the following applies here: the faster the page is displayed to the reader, the better it is. Perfectly optimized pages can have a maximum loading time of less than two seconds.

If the page speed is significantly higher, this has a negative impact, for example when the user immediately closes the page again without waiting for the full display and never visits this website again.

The page speed of each individual website or of the webserver on which it is running can be measured. Too long a time to charge can be due to many reasons.

To improve the page speed, the first thing to do is to find out the cause. This is the only way to proceed in a targeted manner and often significantly improve your page speed with small changes.

However, finding the cause usually requires a little more understanding. Too many or too large images can be responsible for a high page speed. Or numerous scripts are running in the background that slow down the loading speed.

Many plugins, too many banners, and other advertising applications can also delay loading times. If the hosting server is also used by many users at the same time, for example at one of the low-cost providers

rohin dua

Rohin Dua, CEO

rohin@rohindua.com

See How My Agency Can Drive Massive Amounts of Traffic to Your Website

SEO – unlock massive amounts of SEO traffic. See real results.

Content Marketing – our team creates epic content that will get shared, get links, and attract traffic.

Paid Media – effective paid strategies with clear ROI.

Helpful tools for improved page speed

There are several free tools on the web that can be used to measure page speed at any time. With many of them, you get suggestions for improvement that can increase the speed of the site. In particular, the suggestions for improvement help to find the cause and also to remedy it.

what is a good pagespeed score

In this way, the use of your own website can be significantly improved, which increases user-friendliness. When a search query is made in a search engine, the user often receives numerous results that match the respective query.

A high page speed often ensures that users close the website and access another result. In addition, images and advertisements, in particular, are given less importance, as they only appear after the text after they have been fully loaded.

Optimizing the page speed has a direct effect on user-friendliness. Thus, page speed acts as an important key figure in the area of ​​search engine optimization.

Ideally, a page speed should be less than 200 milliseconds. In reality, however, this time can hardly be achieved, although loading times of less than 600 milliseconds are considered good.

PageSpeed Insights - These are the advantages

Like other providers, Google provides its own tool for measuring PageSpeed. This online service from Google has existed since 2011. The company Google LLC is probably best known through the search engine of the same name.

Today the company offers numerous other services and products in addition to its own search engine. Whether your own maps, social networks, or operating systems – Google LLC is broadly based and offers its customers numerous options.

In the area of ​​search engine optimization, Google provides a wide variety of online services. For example, everyone who wants to contribute to search engine optimization should be familiar with Google AdWords or Google Analytics.

Another online service has existed since 2011 to provide information about the page speed of a website. In addition to the measurement, PageSpeed ​​Insights also provides other functions.

At Google (PageSpeed ​​Insights) the following points are measured to be able to carry out optimizations.

  1. Page load time: Here PageSpeed ​​Insights differentiates between so-called lab data and field data. While field data represent real empirical values, laboratory data are more likely to be estimated and theoretical values. The loading time of the page. With a specification in seconds or milliseconds, the tool provides information about the loading time. To check a specific website, the URL of the respective website can be inserted easily and in a user-friendly manner. Its results are shown in bars.
  2. Execution speed of the individual hits, events, and user interactions: The use of the tool achieves particularly broad results. For example, users receive information about the loading time for initial content or a speed index.
  3. Speed ​​of the browser for document analysis and making these results available for user interactions

In addition to the results themselves, PageSpeed ​​Insights also display specific suggestions for improvement. These are individually adapted to the respective website and can thus contribute specifically to optimization.

Whether the modern provision of images, an improvement in scrolling performance, or the avoidance of critical inquiries – the suggestions for improvement from PageSpeed ​​Insights are versatile and give the user an ideal overview.

which metric is affected by slow pagespeed

For the upcoming Google Page Experience Update, you should urgently test your Core Web Vitals in order not to suffer any ranking losses.

The tool “Google PageSpeed ​​Insights” offers a good and user-friendly option for this. The upcoming update will change the ranking behavior in such a way that more emphasis is placed on fast loading times, mobile-user-friendly pages, and other factors.

In the following, we have put together how the tool is to be used and which optimization options it shows.

One of the greatest advantages of Google PageSpeed ​​Insights is that the search for optimization options no longer has to be done completely manually: Based on its measured values, Google already suggests optimizations for both the desktop and the mobile version of your website.

The division between field and lab data within Google PageSpeed ​​Insights looks a bit confusing at first glance but is easier to understand after a brief explanation.

Field data is the data that Google gains for Google PageSpeed ​​Insights in the field test. This means that this data contains measured values ​​that result from real user access.

Field data are therefore the average values ​​of many users with various devices, browsers, and operating systems.

The lab data, on the other hand, is data that is constantly generated by a page accessed by a constant virtual machine for Google PageSpeed ​​Insights. Although this data is a little further away from the real user experience,

pagespeed service

Google PageSpeed ​​Insights - "Fast" and what it really means

The loading time of your page is of course an extremely important ranking factor. If your page loads too slowly, it will fall in the ranking.

Due to the various systems that send the inquiries to your side, it is of course not possible to determine what is really “fast” and what is “slow”. In addition, there is not just a single loading process when the page is viewed, but usually several.

A distinction must be made between how quickly texts, images, internal search functions, and other elements load. What is important is usability, even if some elements are not yet fully loaded, while others are.

For a user it is more pleasant to be able to read an article description, for example, while the product images are loading; the user experience is worse if nothing appears in the window for a few seconds and then suddenly appears like a pop-up.

Another extremely important factor is the usability of the loaded or still loading elements. The user interface of a search function, for example, is useless and is perceived as unpleasant if the search function behind it loads later and cannot yet process any queries.

To differentiate between the loading times of various elements and thus obtain meaningful measurement data and thus also various optimization options, various metrics can be viewed within Google PageSpeed ​​Insights.

1. First paint

With Google PageSpeed ​​Insights, the most basic stage of a loading website is the so-called first paint. The first paint is the stage of loading at which there is the first sign that a page is loading at all, i.e. new pixels appear for the first time.

3. Largest contentful paint

The Largest Contentful Paint is a measured value that has been available in Google PageSpeed ​​Insights since 2020.

It measures the time it takes for the largest block of text or the largest image on the website to appear on the screen. The Pagespeed Insight Tool shows what this largest content is on a specific page.

5. First contentful paint

The First Contentful Paint in Google PageSpeed ​​Insights is the time until the first content becomes visible, which can consist of images and/or text.

7. Long tasks

The browser divides user input into tasks that are processed one after the other. For Google PageSpeed ​​Insights, long tasks are tasks that, due to their execution time, mean that subsequent tasks can only be executed with a delay.

2. First input delay

In Google PageSpeed ​​Insights, the First Input Delay is the loading time until the Internet browser reacts to a user action, for example clicking a link, with a new action.

4. Cumulative layout shift

The Cumulative Layout Shift in Google PageSpeed ​​Insights measures how much the page changes its layout when reloading additional elements – such as advertising.

If a user tries to interact with the website while it is reloading, such a shift can be very annoying and lead to accidentally clicking on the wrong content elements.

6. First Meaningful Paint

The First Meaningful Paint in Google PageSpeed ​​Insights is the delay before the appearance of content that is useful for the user.

These content elements are also called hero elements and are what users focus on first on a page, and ideally, it should load accordingly quickly.

The loading time of the hero elements is therefore a little more important than that of any secondary elements.

8. Time to Interactive

The time to interactive is the loading time on Google PageSpeed ​​Insights, which passes until the page is usable instead of just being visible. Once this loading time has been completed, the user can use the page (except for any reloading elements).

Sounds great?

Let us advise you!

Gain more customers, generate more sales, present yourself in a contemporary way and benefit from our know-how!

Rohin Dua

CEO And CO-Founder

rohin@rohindua.com

Rohin Dua

Step By Step Instructions For Google Pagespeed Insights

Using Google PageSpeed ​​Insights is pretty easy and intuitive, we have briefly summarized the most important steps:

1.0 Page access and diagnostics

The first step is to call up Google PageSpeed ​​Insights. You can reach this at https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?hl=de

google pagespeed service

1.1

Next, insert the web address of the website to be checked into the field provided for it on Google PageSpeed ​​Insights and confirm the selection with the Enter key.

Now Google PageSpeed ​​Insights will start analyzing your loading speeds. This may take a moment, depending on the size and amount of data on your website.

pagespeed optimize images

2.0 opportunities for improvement

Among the measurement data that show the values ​​for improvement on Google PageSpeed ​​Insights, there are now concrete suggestions for improvement, the so-called opportunities, and further diagnoses that can and should be improved:
improve website speed
With a click on the respective entry on Google PageSpeed ​​Insights, the specific points, here in Java Script, are shown that should be improved (in this case removed).
website speed optimization service
In the diagnostics of Google PageSpeed ​​Insights, the respective diagnoses can be displayed according to exactly the same principle:
check your website speed
Finally, below the measurement data and diagnostics, the list of audits that were passed at Google PageSpeed ​​Insights follows:
calculate website speed
Even if Google PageSpeed ​​Insights generally lists which aspects of the website are already in order, there are still options for improvement, shown in green behind the respective audit and also foldable with a click:
how to optimize website speed
The data for the desktop version of the website can be displayed on Google PageSpeed ​​Insights by clicking on “Desktop” and is structured in exactly the same way as the data for the mobile version:
increase website speed

1.2

Clicking on Analysis takes you to the results of the evaluation by Google PageSpeed ​​Insights. These can be broken down into different sub-categories.
pagespeed score

The total score of the page is shown on Google PageSpeed ​​Insights with a key figure from 0-100, including the field data for First Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, Largest Contentful Paint, and Cumulative Layout Shift.

The different percentages indicate how many of the loading times on the website are in the good range, how many can be optimized, and how many are bad and should therefore be optimized (as far as possible) urgently.

With a mouse-over the loading times appear on Google PageSpeed ​​Insights, given in seconds.

google pagespeed image optimizer

Under the page score and the field data, Google PageSpeed ​​Insights contains the measured values ​​that the test with the Lab-Machine showed. The Web Vitals, i.e. particularly important values, are again marked with a blue flag next to their name:

website speed optimization

The exact definitions of these values ​​can also be seen on Google PageSpeed ​​Insights if you switch to the detailed view at the top right:

how to test website speed

As already described at the beginning, the optimization of the loading speed is an important factor for the search engine optimization of your website.

We would be happy to help you optimize everything related to Google PageSpeed ​​Insights and many other ranking factors from Google and Co.

Do you have any questions about search engine optimization or Google PageSpeed ​​Insights? Then contact us. We would be happy to advise you personally and without obligation on the search heroes.

Pagespeed: Slow loading times annoy users

Most users want to be able to read a website straight away and not have to wait a long time for the page to open.

The impatience of the users also ensures that they quickly become restless while waiting and prefer to leave the page rather than wait.

But many users simply don’t have the time for that. Study results on this topic have shown in the past that a third of the users disappear again with a loading time of more than three seconds.

If one side needs another five seconds more, the second third is also lost. According to Google, the optimal page speed for a website is in the range of a maximum of 1.5 seconds, a value that can only be achieved with a perfectly optimized page.

measuring website speed

No company should risk losing two-thirds of potential users through-loading time alone and paying more attention to the page speed results.

After all, the user should remember a positive experience after visiting the website, so that he will be happy to return.

However, page speed results that are too high are not only bad for users, slow websites should also perform worse than their fast competitors in search engine ranking.

The page speed as a ranking factor

The loading speed is a ranking factor that has been known for a long time. But the bounce rate is also important. Because this shows how many users leave the website after a few seconds.

The higher the value, the more users leave the website without having seen much of it. Because if you only stayed briefly on the website, you cannot have found any good content there, which in turn is bad for the ranking on Google.

The longer the loading times, the higher the bounce rates are automatically. A bad page speed therefore always has an impact on the ranking factor bounce rate.

What effect does the page speed factor of mobile websites have on the ranking on Google?

Responsive design, i.e. design optimized for mobile devices, is also an important factor for Pagespeed. More and more users are accessing websites while on the go (smartphone or tablet), usually with significantly slower connections than at home.

The page load is then again significantly slower, which is why the page speed is not only used for desktop applications, but also for mobile use should optimize.

So the page speed is an important factor in the mobile-friendliness of a website. According to Google, the loading times of mobile websites will also be used more to calculate the ranking in the future.

Although the official statement from Google on this subject is that fast pages do not rise higher in the ranking, pages that load particularly slowly are certainly punished in the ranking.

The mobile-friendly algorithm will be updated shortly; there may be an official announcement in the Google Webmaster Blog beforehand, as was the case with previous Google updates.

So if you get poor results in Google’s PageSpeed ​​Insights tool, you should fix the weaknesses listed there as soon as possible, if you don’t want to drop significantly in the ranking with the website after the update.

A full score of 100 is not necessary for a good result, 85 points are sufficient.

How can you improve the page speed?

To improve the page speed, an analysis is necessary first. This can be done directly via the Google tool or with one of the numerous tools available on the web.

After the test, if the result is bad, you should fix the problems step by step, for example, reduce the number and size of images, remove unnecessary Javascript and optimize the CSS code. A change of server can also quickly bring about a significant improvement in the page speed.

Here are some ways to improve the page speed at a glance:

  1. Configuration of the server: A correctly configured server is important for good page speed. If the current hosting provider cannot do this, switching to another service provider should be considered.
  2. Reduce server response time: According to Google, this should not exceed a value of 200 milliseconds. But values ​​of less than 400-600 milliseconds are also considered good.
  3. Reduce image sizes: In many image processing programs, there is the option of saving graphics with reduced size. This function is often called “Save for Web” and results in a significant reduction in file sizes without losing much image quality. In addition, the images should be provided in modern formats to improve the page speed
  4. Reduce plugins and other unnecessary functions. Such a supplement to the main application can increase the page speed enormously.
  5. Optimize code: The CSS and HTML code should be written as cleanly as possible and be as lean as possible to avoid unnecessary code.

Page speed and SEO: This is how we work as an agency

In the area of ​​search engine optimization, a successful ranking comes first. As an SEO agency, we use a wide variety of clues that provide information about possible potential.

In addition to keyword analyzes, page speed optimizations also provide useful information. A targeted improvement contributes to improved user-friendliness.

But not only the users themselves benefit from a low page speed. Since the loading time of the respective website affects the ranking, it should be optimized as best as possible.

The generation of visitors can be simplified by search engine optimization since a ranking in a higher position can influence the user.

Many users use one of the first three results for a query in the search engine, while other results are clicked significantly less or not at all.

With the optimization of the page speed, this ranking can be improved so that your own website can be seen among the first results of a query.

measure website speed

Numerous tools provide information about the page speed of your own website. But a lot of know-how is required, especially concerning the suggestions for improvement and optimization.

This is the only way to gain the best possible potential and the website can be ranked higher. As an SEO agency, we are happy to take on this task for our customers.

As a competent partner, we are at your side and support you in search engine optimization. In addition, we of course always work taking into account individual wishes and ideas so that we can meet your interests.

SEO is arguably one of the most important foundations for generating visitors to your website. In this way, numerous users and entire target groups can be addressed individually.

But often the competition is fierce and corresponding search engine optimization is all the more important. We are happy to support you and would like to help you attract more visitors and potential customers.

Feel free to contact us and express your ideas and wishes. With a targeted adjustment of the page speed and many other factors, you can benefit from enormous advantages in a very short time!

Core Web Vitals: Page Speed ​​Analysis - Who Can Keep Up Now?

With the uniform quality signals Core Web Vitals from Google, the loading time for the ranking in the search results will play an important role from 2021.

Optimization is often a comprehensive undertaking and a long process. So that companies can already position themselves, SISTRIX has analyzed around 18.5 million domains concerning loading times.

In this article, we want to present the results to you.

The importance of page speed

The user experience is particularly important today. Visitors to a website want to be seduced into action with experiences. A key factor is the page speed or the loading time of a website.

It is considered the foundation of a good user experience because if a website takes too long to build, the competition with faster loading times is just a mouse click away.

With its specifications that the loading time should be a maximum of 2.5 seconds, Google uses analyzes the bounce rate. This increases to 32% if the charging time increases to 3 seconds. At 5 seconds it is already 90%.

How is the page speed measured?

With the three standardized and comparable key figures of the Core Web Vitals, the user experience is made measurable.

We have already reported on the new ranking factors that will gain in importance from 2021 in our article ” Core Web Vitals – the Google quality signals for the new ranking factor “. These, therefore, have a direct influence on the positioning in Google’s search results.

The three core web vitals at a glance:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The load time it takes for most of the content to load, which should be less than 2.5 seconds.
  2. First Input Delay (FID): Time until the user can interact with the page, which should be less than 0.1 seconds.
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): The amount of layout shift during loading, which should be less than 0.1.

The analysis of the page speed of SISTRIX

SISTRIX analyzed the page speed of around 18.5 million domains and mainly used the value Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), as this is the decisive factor for the loading time of the website.

The first figures, which can be found below, are based on the consideration of all three factors.

First, SISTRIX analyzed all three Core Web Vitals key figures for website visits from Germany. The overall result shows that around 25% of the pages were not yet fast enough according to Google’s specifications.

Considered individually, it shows that with Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) bewertet are rated as good. 10% were “bad” from Google’s point of view. Value is the most important thing when it comes to page speed.

The First Input Delay (FID), on the other hand, achieved quite a bit and achieved the best value with 86% good and only 2% badly rated accesses.

When shifting the layout, measured with the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), there were hardly any intermediate values, but mostly only good or bad results.

Page speed improves

After the first general data collection, SISTRIX looks at the development of the Largest Contentful Paint in the last few months.

It turned out that a slightly positive trend can be seen. The metrics rated as good by Google rose from 73% to 75% since November 2019, and the poor metrics decreased by 2%. The progress in terms of page speed can be seen in any case.

Page speed on different devices

This was followed by the evaluation of the loading time on the device types desktop, mobile phone, and tablet. The loading times were currently even faster on the desktop than on the smartphone, which is ultimately due to the more stable internet connection.

Nevertheless, the results were significantly lower than initially assumed. What was surprising, however, was that tablets performed poorly.

SISTRIX attempted to explain: The desktop version of websites is played on tablets. But the hardware is similar to that of cell phones. That could be an explanation for the worse loading times.

Page speed and the internet connection

The stability of the internet connection also has an impact on the loading time of a website. Although this cannot be influenced by the website operator, it should nevertheless be found in the analysis of a selection of the most important countries.

It emerged that above all China and South Korea with 82% of all website hits convinced Google with top values ​​and are thus world leaders. Below are Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan, and Taiwan.

But Germany doesn’t have to hide with a ninth-place either. ¾ of all hits were rated as good by the search engine. Despite the harsh criticism of the broadband expansion in Germany, a positive trend can be seen here.

Russia and the US are roughly on par, while Thailand and Vietnam have poor scores. In Kiribati, a Pacific island nation, almost 60% of Google hits were rated poorly.

how to increase website speed wordpress

Page speed and CMS systems

Because most websites are based on content management systems (CMS) and are therefore the linchpin on the Internet, SISTRIX combined its database of web technologies with the measurements of the core web vitals to provide valid data on the page speed of the most frequently used content Collect management systems.

The following picture emerged:

Jimdo

The best performance for the Largest Contentful Paint came from Hamburg. Jimdo, with its website construction kit principle, met Google’s expectations with 82% of hits.

Typo3

Just behind is the self-hosted CMS Typo3 with around 82% good access ratings. For many, however, developing with Typo3 is often too complex.

WordPress

Far behind in the penultimate place is the most widespread CMS WordPress. Google rates around 21% of hits as needing improvement and even 20% as bad.

Wix

The loser in the analysis is the Wix cloud solution. Around 23% are rated by Google with the red bar. Amazing: Jimdo and Wix both work as cloud solutions with a completely controllable system.

Page speed and shop systems

Shopping on the Internet – there is no doubt that if you do not score points here as a shop system provider with loading times, you will lose the connection and that quickly.

As early as 2006, Amazon analyzed that an increased loading time of just 0.1 seconds reduced sales by 1%. For the following results, SISTRIX combined the technology database and the data on loading times.

Domains with Lightspeed are rated as good by Google with a score of almost 93%. This makes the shop system the winner. Just 2% of the Largest Contentful Paint values ​​were classified as bad.

The absolute top values ​​in the entire analysis. The provider can take full advantage of the cloud solution with control over the entire system.

This is followed by the open-source solution osCommerce for self-hosted shops with 84% good evaluation basis. Shopify, currently a popular shop system, only ranks in the middle, although options comparable to those of Lightspeed prevail.

In this ranking, too, WordPress with the WooCommerce extension does not show a good performance in terms of page speed and lands in the last place. Just 50.9% of the hits were rated good, while 26% were in the red.

Page speed and web technologies

In the next section, SISTRIX compared the different web technologies in terms of loading time and examined JavaScripts, CSS libraries, and Google AMP, among other things. The evaluation is based on the technologies with the most identified uses.

Ruby on Rails gave the best picture with almost 85% good page speed ratings. The framework leads the list of web technologies unchallenged.

ASP.NET follows with 77%, but Yii with 74% and Laravel with 73% also show good results in terms of page speed. Python also ranks at the top with the Django framework and a value of 75%.

This is different from Google AMP. Just 70% of the AMP domains can meet the search engine’s criteria. Optimization measures are planned.

Page speed and CDNs

Worldwide distributed servers should guarantee fast transmission paths. This work is done by Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). There are industry specialists as well as large cloud providers, but their core functions are similar.

Fastly as a CDN takes the top spot with the page speed of its domains and shows very good ratings from Google with 87.5%. But also Google in second place, Amazon and Microsoft with Azure make a good impression.

Although Akamai is a specialist in content delivery networks, it only ends up in the back seat. One assumption is that this is related to the target group, mostly large, transnational corporations with often slow legacy systems.

Fireblade, which is more of a web application firewall, marks the end of the ranking.

test your website speed

Sounds great?

Let us advise you!

Gain more customers, generate more sales, present yourself in a contemporary way and benefit from our know-how!

Rohin Dua

CEO And CO-Founder

rohin@rohindua.com

Rohin Dua

The most important information about the page speed analysis by SISTRIX

For the current data and the analysis, SISTRIX was based on the Google Core Web Vitals. The measurement methods are shown under their own laboratory conditions and field data.

In this case, field data was used, which was then evaluated. This resulted in a total of 18.5 million analyzed domains. The measured values ​​were based on data from around the world. Only the first three related purely to Germany. Desktop, mobile, and tablet values ​​were also evaluated.

The collected results were then combined with the technology recognition in SISTRIX to make statements about CMS systems, shop systems, web technology, and CDNs. To achieve statistical significance, only combinations that were found for many domains were included.

The most important information about the page speed analysis by SISTRIX

For the current data and the analysis, SISTRIX was based on the Google Core Web Vitals. The measurement methods are shown under their own laboratory conditions and field data.

In this case, field data was used, which was then evaluated. This resulted in a total of 18.5 million analyzed domains. The measured values ​​were based on data from around the world. Only the first three related purely to Germany. Desktop, mobile, and tablet values ​​were also evaluated.

The collected results were then combined with the technology recognition in SISTRIX to make statements about CMS systems, shop systems, web technology, and CDNs. To achieve statistical significance, only combinations that were found for many domains were included.

The most important summarized to the page speed

  1. Google’s default loading time is a maximum of 2.5 seconds. Around 25% of the analyzed companies in Germany could not achieve this.
  2. Page speed has increased by 2% in the last year.
  3. In terms of loading times, Germany ranks 9th in terms of internet connection.
  4. Among the CMS systems, Jimdo was the winner.
  5. Lightspeed not only delivered the best values ​​among the shop systems, but also the entire analysis.
  6. Ruby on Rails came out on top in web technologies.

Loading time as a ranking factor: you should know that about this topic

SEOs never tire of emphasizing the importance and relevance of faster loading times. Certainly, it is logical per se that the loading time, which is actually a waiting time, is a criterion.

The only question is: To what extent does the loading time affect search engine optimization? Which criteria apply to classify a website as slow or as fast? What is that based on? From what value can advantage over the competition be assumed?

In the following paragraphs, we will address these questions, taking into account both pages from official sources, i.e. from Google, as well as generally available and authentic data on the Internet.

Question # 1: How is "fast" defined?

The Internet provides a variety of answers to this question, often with explanatory models based on hard numbers and assumptions that websites “have to be so fast that delays are not really noticed by the user”.

The aforementioned numbers vary between 1.5 and 3 seconds. The fact is: The Search Console tends to classify web pages with loading times between 1.5 and 3 seconds as average.

Everything that goes over 3 seconds appears to be “too high”. The differentiation between “slow” and “fast” should therefore also be practiced on the part of Google.

This leads us to the question of the extent to which the assessment is carried out as part of the Page Speed ​​Insights tool. It can be assumed that it is already sufficient not to go below a value of around 85 in order not to have to accept a penalty.

In addition, statements by John Mueller (Google) indicate that anything between 2 and 3 seconds is referred to as fast. In addition, it is not the number of possible HTTP requests that is decisive, but only the actual loading time.

Interim conclusion: It can be assumed that the majority of the websites are not in this area but above it.

For a positive user experience, of course, the key factor is how long it takes to access the relevant content – this also applies increasingly to mobile devices, which are often the only access channel and which explain the “mobile first” strategy of some e-commerce sites.

Page speed is also important for search engine crawlers because statements suggest that bots crawl all websites with a download time of over 2 seconds less often. What makes the difference, in the end, cannot be said for sure based on this information.

To get started: Google first stated in 2010 that page speed was explicitly classified as a ranking factor. The loading speed is relevant for the website operator as well as for Google and ultimately the visitor.

It is also undisputed that it is not harmful to UX or a possible conversion if the visitor does not have to wait countless seconds for a reaction from the server.

But the question remains: How important is the page speed actually concerning the ranking in Google and Co.?

Those responsible at Google state in various statements that there are almost 200 or more than 200 factors that the search engine uses and relates to each other to be able to create a ranking.

The factors “content” and “relevance” are among them a decisive characteristic, page speed is only mentioned here as a further factor.

Officially, Google commented on this issue in 2010 as follows:

While site speed is a new signal, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of a page.

Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point.

We launched this change a few weeks back after rigorous testing. If you haven’t seen much change to your site rankings, then this site speed change possibly did not impact your site. ” (Source: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/04/
using-site-speed-in -web-search-ranking.html )

Over the years there have been other pronouncements, such as that of John Mueller from April 8th, 2016 (Webmaster Central Hangout), according to which the time required by the Google crawler to add content to the index is not a factor, but only the speed. which it takes to finally load the website in question from the server.

In the middle of 2018, there was a so-called “speed update”, which has to be considered in the context of mobile searches. According to this, there is only a distinction between “slow” and “fast” pages, similar to the weighting in classic desktop searches. Read it here ( https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/01/
using-page-speed-in-mobile-search.html ).

Question no. 2: What loading time is reasonable for the individual?

That is highly subjective and, not least, also depends on the lack of time someone is looking for – those who are relaxed and have time can sometimes wait longer, whereas someone looking from the subway, where the network may be significantly slower, longer loading time can be an absolute nuisance.

On the one hand, personal or individual requirements (internet connection, etc.) play a role, on the other hand, getting used to.

If you simply do not know otherwise that practically all pages take x seconds to load, you will not subjectively perceive the website particularly negatively, which overshoots the norm.

The following applies: The more a website grows and the more extensive the range of functions, the more the page speed usually decreases.

Question # 3: What kind of website performance is relevant?

Various processes run in the background, while a website only “loads” on the surface. On the one hand, there is the response time or first-by-time, the first contact between the browser and the website.

If you talk about the loading time, you mean the page load time or the loading time. This means the entire process that runs between the initial request (e.g. click) and the final rendering of the website.

Other metrics exclude, for example, the download of graphics or the delayed display of dynamic content, so that the fact that “text” becomes visible leads to the “completion” of the loading process.

Question # 5: What role does scoring play in the Google Page Speed ​​Insights Tool?

There may be outliers or anomalies where practically the same page has made it into the top 3 for years, but where the page speed sometimes goes into double-digit seconds – a clear argument for the fact that the page speed is certainly not the most important ranking factor.

So far, so understandable. However, it can also be because in the course of content marketing the first search results were always used as a basis, so that “subsequent” content could not gain the same extent in popularity, according to the motto: “Old is Gold”.

It is clear, however, that the quality of the links, the relevance of the respective domain, also in the context of additional content, and other factors clearly outstrip the page speed here.

It can be assumed that page speed, as a weighty factor, can only really make a difference when it comes to sorting within the top 10.

That would be logical and stringent because what appears from page 2 has a significantly reduced status for Google or the searcher.

optimize website speed

A few notes and thoughts on the subject

We at the search heroes rack our brains anew every day to find the best strategy and to bring our customers as far forward as possible. We use empirical values, certain tools, and methods that have already proven to be “suitable” in the past.

We’re not perfect either and haven’t found the holy grail of search engine optimization, but some things are better understood with common sense. It would therefore be absolutely counterproductive to severely punish a page simply because it does not achieve the arbitrarily set goals in terms of page speed.

After all, that alone doesn’t say much about the relevance of the content, because in certain areas privately or voluntarily operated information pages dominate, which usually lag behind commercial projects. However, they sometimes offer more well-founded, understandable, and compact information and are therefore received more positively by the user than commercial sites could ever do for their interests.

To make a comparison from the analog world: A fast car does not automatically have to be better, safer, or more expensive, the reverse is also true. So there is a world of difference in many respects that is not always apparent to the individual.

Ultimately, the question here is to what extent a private corporation (Google) evaluates certain features (page speed, relevance, content, etc.) to weigh and classify them in its search engine. A product that loses its raison d’être when no relevant, informative content is listed in a prominent place.

So Google has a strong self-interest, in addition to all possible theories, to present the best pages for a search query. Point. Many SEOs tend to look at everything from a technical perspective, as this would mean that there is a kind of “interpretative sovereignty” to be able to take a better position over others.

We can only work as successfully as the product, service, or thing suggests. So let’s talk more about how we can improve your product or service so that the target group can be better addressed and reached through search engine optimization.

We have some thoughts and ideas that we would like to share with you. Contact the search heroes today and find out how you can assert yourself against competitors in the course of the digital transformation.

Sounds great?

Let us advise you!

Gain more customers, generate more sales, present yourself in a contemporary way and benefit from our know-how!

Rohin Dua

CEO And CO-Founder

rohin@rohindua.com

Rohin Dua