This client’s organic traffic is up almost 100% over the same period:
// Oct 28, 2011 at 5:43 am
And yet you still see sites with a high Alexa ranking that show a page load speed of very slow…
Nevertheless I am off to check my webmaster tools
// Oct 28, 2011 at 10:29 am
I usually run YSlow on sites and/or PageSpeed. They both help with tips on boosting load times. I like sites with fast loading pages, so the Googlebot should too 😉
// Oct 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm
Improved page speed not only affects the traffic to the site, but also significantly lowers the Bounce rate
// Oct 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm
Hmmm… I believe speed does matter, but I’m not sure these graphs prove the point. My main objection is that what you’ve got here is the speed at which Google downloads a page and this is different than the speed at which a page is rendered for a user. I believe it is the second speed measure that Google cares about with regards to usability.
// Oct 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm
You would think that would be the case Marios, but I have seen it happen over and over again with big sites where improving bot download speed can have enormous effect on rankings. One big client in particular that had been hit by Panda did nothing to their site except improve bot load time and the traffic is up by over 1MM visits/mnth despite the Site Performance report, which purports to measure page speed for users, showing the site had slowed down over the same period of time.
// Oct 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm
Did the improved bot download time increase indexation i.e. did content get indexed that was previously not indexed?
Sorry, I don’t mean to be argumentative. Just trying to get as complete a picture as I can
// Oct 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm
They produce a ton of new content every day so it most certainly increased indexation.
// Oct 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm
I’m trying to learn all this and have been reading up on your website. I read the previous comment that a quicker load time reduces bounce rates and I think I would have to agree. I had a lot of scripts running on my site and it wasn’t performing as well, and saw a higher bounce rate in Google Analytics for that month. I removed some of the issues, and cleaned it up a bit. Quicker load time seemed to help.
// Oct 30, 2011 at 11:56 pm
Andrew, what’s the accuracy? And what exactly have you done to speed up? Have there been other changes too? I’ve never seen such a huge difference with only optimizing speed. I have seen it only in combination with other technical optimisations.
// Oct 31, 2011 at 3:13 am
Very interesting. More testing might be in order though. I have no doubt speed can effect rankings… but just how much is the question.
// Oct 31, 2011 at 6:43 am
@Jo Shaer, Alexa’s measure of page speed is, in my experience, pants. It has as much to do with the location of the toolbar audience and their connection speeds as it does with any objective measures.
// Oct 31, 2011 at 8:12 am
Pieter – the only change in the site over this time period was improving performance. While it doesn’t work 100% of the time I have seen it work enough to know that with large sites their is a pretty good correlation between page speed and long tail rankings
// Oct 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Of course page speed matters. I agree 100%. I’m off to deep dive into my Webmaster Tools. Thanks for some cool insight!
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// Nov 2, 2011 at 9:09 am
This is something we’re struggling with daily. Is there a way to increase page speed without upgrading servers? I’ve minimized usages of plugins and the like already. Is there anything else I can do?
// Nov 11, 2011 at 1:50 am
Nice post. I really do agree that page speed matters. There are of course many ways to increase your page speed. Thanks for this cool post.
// Nov 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm
I suggest using a third party for testing page speed because Webmaster Tools are unreliable and Google states as much. Search Google for page speed tools, plenty of free stuff out there. You’ll probably see a massive difference in the reports from what Google produces.
// Nov 26, 2011 at 5:14 am
By bot load time do you mean loading just the html?
Another concern I have is that the bots are in the USA so internationally hosted websites will get punished for nothing. But them I heard the WMT data is based on toolbar data gathering.
I’m still trying to get my head around the load data we can gather. My personal website seems to load quickly but I see data saying it’s slow.
I’m on the other side of the world so the bots may think it’s slow.
As my traffic is very international I’ve started playing with using Content Delivery Networks (CDN). So far I’ve not seen any improvements in stats.