Site Loading Time A 2010 SEO Ranking Element?

It's been said that internet users have the patience of just four to five seconds for a webpage to load. That's not a very long time, and a lot of sites lose visitors every day for just this reason. It will always be important from a user standpoint to have your websites load as quickly as possible. It's already a challenge to get people to visit your site and the last issue you want visitors to experience is slow loading times.


How Can You Test Your Sites Load Time?

If you don't already have a Google Webmaster Tools account, create one and confirm your website. Assuming you already have an account set up, click on the "Labs" tab on the left hand navigation. From there click on "Site Performace" this is where you will find a graph with your performance overview.

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, internet users have the patience to wait roughly four to five seconds before giving up on a page loading. Is your websites loading time causing you to lose well deserved traffic?


How Can You Fix Your Load Time?

Lucky for all of us Google webmaster tool users, Google has already figured out an efficient way to speed up all of our pages. Scrolling a little further down to the "site performance" page, you will see "Page Speed Suggestions". Here you will see suggestions such as gzip compression, combining JavaScript, and minimizing DNS lookups. These are issues specific to each page, so make sure to look at all the suggestions.


Will Load Times Have An Effect On SEO In 2010?

Nobody knows all the elements that make up the Google search algorithm. Google's priority is to always give its search users the most relevent search results. One would thinkg that it's also important to Google that all users have a positive experence when looking for websites that match their search queries. With this kept in considerations it would make sense that Google would give ranking preferences to sites that have faster loading speeds. Nobody wants to wait ten or more seconds for a page to load and unfortunately there are many sites out there that exceed ten seconds.

Whether loading time has an affect on SEO or not, it's important to keep your site loading times to a minimum. You work hard to get your existing traffic, don't let something like loading time ruin your users experience. Google has given us this tool for a reason; it's silly to not take advantage of it. If load time does become an SEO factor in 2010, lets all be ready for it!


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