A number of my clients have been having site performance issues as of late. It’s easy to see in Google Webmaster Tools’ Crawl Statistics report that if your pages load slowly, your site does not get crawled as much.
But your fast-loading pages could be hurting your SEO efforts as well. I have a client site with two main types of pages: “Good” pages and “Bad” pages. There are an equal amount of Good and Bad pages and they have roughly the same number of internal links. Here are the current index numbers shown by Google for each, the avg. download speed for each and the number of monthly search engine referrals:
Good: 49,000 pages indexed, 3.5 seconds, 47,000 SE referrals
Bad: 221,000 pages indexed, .2 seconds, 2,000 SE referrals
It’s not rocket science to think that with a 3.5 second download Google is not going to crawl and index many of these Good pages. But what’s interesting to me is whether or not the speedy Bad pages are making matters even worse? If they weren’t there would we be seeing more slow Good pages in the index and getting more traffic or would the number of slow pages stay the same?
In the long run the answer won’t matter much as we are going to noindex these Bad pages and speed up the Good ones, but this data just underscores the need to be constantly monitoring site performance and to keep the bots away from your Bad pages as much as possible.