SEO — Google’s Tips to Increase Your Site’s Download Speed

 

How fast does your Web site download?

Google announced that it determines site rankings, in part, by download speed. That was the message in April 2010.

“We mentioned site speed as early as last year, and you can watch this video from February where I pointed out that we still put much more weight on factors like relevance, topicality, reputation, value-add, etc. — all the factors that you probably think about all the time,” wrote Google software engineer  Matt Cutts in a recent blog.

“Compared to those signals, site speed will carry much less weight,” he added.

But another blog, Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, also mentioned site speed: “But faster sites don’t just improve user experience, recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.”

Personally, I wonder if being fast qualifies as a green initiative.

Google also makes these suggestions:

  • Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
  • YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
  • WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages’ load performance plus an optimization checklist.
  • In Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world as in the chart below. We’ve also blogged about site performance.

Mr. Cutts also wrote that Google’s official blog provides even more tools.

“…Google’s webmaster console provides information very close to the information that we’re actually using in our ranking,” he added. “In addition, various free-to-use tools offer things like in-depth analysis of individual pages. Google also provides an entire speed-related mini-site with tons of resources and videos about speeding up websites.”

He also says “big sites” will not get a competitive advantage in the added factor of site speed.

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