Our Site Speed is Slower Than 94% of Sites Online!

Google today indicated that site speed is considered a parameter for search engine rankings online, and as we checked our Google webmaster panel to evaluate our site performance – it was revealing to know that “on average, pages in your site take 11.2 seconds to load (updated on Apr 8, 2010). This is slower than 94% of sites. These estimates are of high accuracy (more than 1000 data points).”

Google site speed

Considering that the top of he chart is the 20th percentile, our site is indeed slow. You can also check your site performance by logging into Google Webmaster tools > Dashboard >Labs > Site performance.

I tried several other site speed tools, but the time for loading was much less than 11.2 seconds, but then that is the average time across all your pages which Google records, and that is what Google will consider in your search result rankings; so that is what you have to fix despite whatever the other third party tools display.

The Google post reveals that

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.

We have been noticing a reduced Google traffic since the last few weeks, and it would not be surprising if site speed criteria affected our site (which is slower than 94% of site on the internet!).  Though Google engineer Matt Cutts tried to pacify webmasters that after all it affects only 1% of search queries on Google.com only; considering Google must be displaying billions of such results, imagine how huge 1% would turn out to be.

Obviously we need to test our site with these page speed tools to determine the causes of slow speed on our site. Since we are on VPS hosting, beyond the restraints of shared hosting, we should be able to tweak ourselves better. I think the easiest way to start is using Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement. A quick look at our site reveals that obviously we have lots of scripts, images, css files etc. loading and slowing web pages … we will fix them soon.

Actually if you look at it, its a a superb attempt by Google to speed up the internet as a whole. Who likes slow loading sites on slow internet connections. With our ever shortening attention spans, don’t we all appreciate a fast loading website and tend to and browse such sites more… Thus, fast loading websites will provide better user experience and guarantee more pageviews, and with Google granting such fast sites with  higher search engine rankings, its a win-win situtation for webmasters.

I am right now planning measures to super speed up our site and will keep you posted about what we changed in the site design and if it improve our search rankings. Please suggest how can we speed up QOT? Share in the comments and we might just make a post out of your useful suggestions credited to you.

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Debajyoti Das
Debajyoti Das

Although I am novice in this field … but I should say removing “PostRank’s Top Posts” and “Facebook Fan” Widget should reduce 2-3 seconds.

Also Kontera & Mybloglog, Sitemeter Scripts take up a few seconds.

Finally the Submit buttons for FB, Retweet etc… take few millseconds.

Shifting to Thesis or Similar Framework Based Theme can really make a difference.

QuickOnlineTips
QuickOnlineTips

I am tempted to keep the Facebook fan page because of it instant “Become a fan” button. Maybe replace Postrank with popular posts widget. Digg submit button is definitely going, hardly get any Diggs. Am trying Thesis now.

Dinesh
Dinesh

I think Google is expecting us to have home page like them with one image, search box and some links, which is difficult for us. I suggest reducing outside DNS look ups, scripts and side bar widgets. I don’t see, enabling wordpress caching is working well with Google web master tool.

QuickOnlineTips
QuickOnlineTips

Reducing number of widgets and trying to minimize DNS lookups. It would have been even slower without WP-Supercache

Sourish | Wordpress Install Guide
Sourish | Wordpress Install Guide

Minimize Images , thats all i can say . Use more CSS

QuickOnlineTips
QuickOnlineTips

There are very few images. Reducing them more. Thanks.

Dinesh
Dinesh

Good, today your site loaded quickly than yesterday in Chrome browser after some changes.

QuickOnlineTips
QuickOnlineTips

We are now trying the Thesis theme and implementing a lot of fixes

Jay
Jay

Hey, don’t feel too bad. I have a few websites. One that I have on Joomla with a Rocket Theme and not much other than a slider runs slower than 99% of websites! It’s hosted on Hostgator with shared hosting. I reduced a bunch of widgets (facebook, twitter, and a few others), but it didn’t help much. I tried enabling Gzip and caching which also didn’t help much. My Joomla site has Technorati Media ads which load incredibly slow. On my WordPress blog, I’m in the bottom 25%. I switched from Super Cache to WordPress Total Cache which has minify… Read more »

QuickOnlineTips
QuickOnlineTips

I am hearing lots of good stuff about Total cache and maybe will try it soon. We are now on Thesis and would appreciate your feedback.

Hamza Ahmad
Hamza Ahmad

Hello,

I have also heard alot about the website page speed as a ranking factor but what I think is that it does effects but not a lot because Google uses more than 255 factors to rank the website and page speed has a minor value in it but still we should consider it.

To speed up W3 total cache plugin for wordpress is awesome and for people not using wordpress might try cloudflare which is good or go for a best CDN.

Robert
Robert

I’ll suggest you to use some cache tools like autoptimize and html cache plugins. You also must reduce size of img files.

Sofia Desoja
Sofia Desoja

I used Google web master tool and could reduce 30% of my site load.