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  1. Dinosaur
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    Site Speed, important ?


    I have been banging the drum for site speed for quite a while now. Although I cannot prove without doubt that it has any major impact on SERPS it does make perfect sense from a users point of view.
    While reading some post by John Mueller this evening I noticed he had tweeted
    "there are clear and highly valued benefits in making the site even faster"
    and gave a link to this research A faster FT.com – Engine Room

    It makes for interesting reading and fairly solid research why you should take steps to improve your sites performance.

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    • Ann Smarty agrees : Thanks for sharing!
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  3. SeoRaptor
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    Thanks for sharing this study. I've been working on website speed for a while now and could notice an increase in conversion and user interest, but never really had A/B testing data concerning speed/conversion/session depth. It's very interesting indeed and provides real testing data on the subject.
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  5. Contributing User
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    There was some test done eons ago (before the internet was a sparkle in the milkman's eye) about user behaviour on computer systems and how long loading times on interfaces can affect productivity. I can't remember exactly but it was somewhere at around 10 seconds that the users chain of thought was definitely broken but up to 2 seconds was fast enough to keep up with humans (e.g. data processing).

    When we talk about 'fast' what does it mean. If you decrease your load time from 2 seconds to 1 second would that really be a ranking factor vs if you decreased it from 7 seconds to 2 seconds.

    And if the content part of your page loads within 1 second does it matter if other bells and whistles arrive a few seconds after that?
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  7. Dinosaur
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    Back in the 80's when I used to work on IBM mini's we where always told that 7 seconds was an acceptable time frame for data retrieval but even then that was the maximum and only if there was massive calculations going on. Data inputting systems tended to be zippy but it was getting results back out where the time was normally spent and clever queries had to be found to reduce time.

    But times have changed and with desktops users expect response levels to be quick, mobile users are a bit more forgiving.
    The test was not about ranking it was more to do with user retention and keeping them on a site, reducing your page load speed from 2 seconds to 1 second I doubt you would see much difference but I know I have looked at many sites submitted here where page speeds have been well over 10 seconds, I am afraid speeds of that nature just dont cut it any more and users will get bored very quick and exit earlier than if on a fast site (typically)

    I do however believe page speed is a ranking signal although a weak one, But even if that proved to be wrong I would always attempt to make a site as fast as possible, the quicker you can dispatch users the less concurrent connections to the server which then has a knock on effect to other users on the server.

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    Couldn't agree with you more but I think what I was driving at is this. You ask 'Is site speed important?' and the answer (for both user retention and ranking) seems to be 'at some point' - i.e. above x seconds.

    At this point a Google bot would raise its eyebrows and make a note but you would also see higher bounce rates and lower user engagement (ultimately leading to fewer link opportunities) which would compound where you rank. As such directly or indirectly site speed could be argued to be a strong ranking signal.

    The question then becomes: what is 'x'? e.g. Sitespeed is important if pages take longer than 3 seconds to open but sitespeed is unimportant below this.

    So when you say "I would always attempt to make a site as fast as possible" shouldn't you say "I would always attempt to make a site have a page load time of less than x seconds". Beyond that it has no benefit.
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    Hi all!
    Who could not agree with the fact that loading time of any website is decides that whether the visitors transforms into a regular visitors or in a potential client. Although there are many factors involved in engaging the visitors and page loading time or as you called site speed. After displaying in the SERPs, the main concern of any website is their loading time while searching or navigating from one page to another page of website, which for sure must be very low in order to engage users for more and thence decreasing the bounce rate. Second thing, most of the users do not want to navigate next page further and if it happens so then if their will be high loading time then if is for sure that users instantly leave the websites. And it is not very beneficial because website loading time can be managed and bring it to the lowest for good.
    Thanks.
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  13. SeoRaptor
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    Originally Posted by Doodled
    So when you say "I would always attempt to make a site as fast as possible" shouldn't you say "I would always attempt to make a site have a page load time of less than x seconds". Beyond that it has no benefit.
    Increasing site speed always as an impact if you look at a big e-commerce website even under a 2 second loading speed. Traffic becomes a factor of the calculation. For exemple, if your the income generated by you website increases by an average of 0,10 cents per visitor, it doesn't worth it to spend time and money if your have 100 visitors per month, but if you have 1 million it changes everything. Very small changes can have a massive impact on high traffic websites.

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    • Will-O-The-Wisp agrees
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  15. Contributing User
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    Originally Posted by Pierre Benneton
    Very small changes can have a massive impact on high traffic websites.
    Yes - good call. I often see this kind of discussion on StackOverflow where people are trying to reduce something like a database call/response down from 0.0001 seconds to 0.00001 seconds and the like.

    But sort of this was my point - there is a cost/benefit to be taken into account. I would say for an e-commerce site turning over several million a year there is little cost benefit in reducing a page load time below 2 seconds.

    I did have a client whose website started to gradually slow down over several months due to server issues. The bounce rate and time on site over the same period correlated along with a drop corresponding drop in sales and eventually a drop in rankings.

    We moved the site to a better server which resulted in returning the site to its previous page loading speed. Again the bounce rate and time on site improved and several weeks later the rankings recovered.

    Sample of one means little but there you go.

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    • Chedders agrees : ;)
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  17. Super Moderator
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    Here's a few things I have cumulated from studies:

    • A study by Akamai shows that 47% people expect sites to loads in two seconds.
    • Akamai also found that 40% will abandon a webpage if it takes more than three seconds to load.
    • 14% will start shopping at a different site if the page load times are slow.
    • If an e-commerce site is making 100,000 per day, a 1 second delay in the average site load time could potentially cost the site owner 2.5 million in annual lost sales
    • Just a one-second delay in mobile load times can hurt conversions and cart size by up to 3.5%.
    • Amazon calculated that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year.
    • Google has calculated that by slowing its search results by just four tenths of a second they could lose 8 million searches per day

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    • Doodled agrees : Thanks for that - great stats (still got no rep)
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    Your site speed should be a priority to give maximum customer satisfaction, for better user experience and an improvement in site speed can increase conversions. To increase the website speed, the website images are optimized for the web and minimize HTTP Requests.
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    Originally Posted by Ethan Jones
    Your site speed should be a priority to give maximum customer satisfaction, for better user experience and an improvement in site speed can increase conversions. To increase the website speed, the website images are optimized for the web and minimize HTTP Requests.
    How is that constructive to what we've already said?
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  23. Dinosaur
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    How is that constructive to what we've already said?
    Yeap pointless post and added nothing to a great conversation.


    The other thing I would mention but unless you have worked on really huge sites I doubt it would have crossed your minds in today's industry of fast cheap computers.
    Dispatching users from the server quicker has a real measurable cost benefit. A system I once built had to cope with many 1,000's of concurrent users so dispatching them quicker meant less hardware to cope with the traffic. We was up against a larger Blue chip company who just throw money at the problem but we had to be clever, we got response times down to similar time frames of google search by using really clever and unique techniques, this reduced our hardware requirements massively to the tune of a few million GBP a year.

    Even if there was no benefit from a conversion point of view the money you can save on infrastructure can be immense. This is why I am often obsessed by speed as it is sort of in my DNA now.
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    Working theory: it's somewhat relative and more about weeding out egregious under-performers. Practically, for smaller sites, if you're the slowest among a dozen otherwise equal sites, you may rank lower as a direct algo effect, so you need to take reasonable steps to at least keep up with the pack. It's not like being the fastest will put you at the top, more like being the slowest will relegate you to the bottom, if that makes sense?
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    I am surprised at all the touting of site speed. I've never found it to be a noticeable influence and recently took 4 sites with poor page speed, one ranking as low as the 30s and increased them all to 70s - 90s. There was no noticeable change in ranking. Of course I do believe an extremely slow site might be affected. But with all the recent posts by Mueller, it seems to affirm the alt theory of, don't worry about it.

    There is the ever hanging promise of, one day it might make a difference...
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  29. Dinosaur
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    Originally Posted by DirectHits
    I am surprised at all the touting of site speed. I've never found it to be a noticeable influence and recently took 4 sites with poor page speed, one ranking as low as the 30s and increased them all to 70s - 90s. There was no noticeable change in ranking. Of course I do believe an extremely slow site might be affected. But with all the recent posts by Mueller, it seems to affirm the alt theory of, don't worry about it.

    There is the ever hanging promise of, one day it might make a difference...

    Did you even bother to read the other reasons why site speed is important even if it does not affect SERPS directly ?

    And whats does
    one ranking as low as the 30s and increased them all to 70s - 90s
    mean ?

    Are you saying you had a site that ranked 30 ish position and then slowed the site down to 70+ seconds ? if the site was already slow how does this prove anything ?
    I dont think anyone has said that speed is a linear ranking factor, its is possibly a signal amongst others, over 200 at the last quoted figure.
    However it has been proven time and time again a fast site converts better v a slow one so in any right minded webmasters mind speed should be a major factor.
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