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Does Load Time Effect Your Google Organic Search Listing?

Posted • March 8, 2008 • 1 Comment

Load Time has been confirmed by Google as a soon to be AdWords Quality Score metric, can your organic SERPs be far behind?

Or is Load Time already being considered by the Google algorithm?

Landing page load time will soon be incorporated into Quality Score

As part of our continuing efforts to improve the user experience, we will soon incorporate an additional factor into Quality Score: landing page load time. Load time is the amount of time it takes for a user to see the landing page after clicking an ad.

Why are we doing this?
Two reasons: first, users have the best experience when they don’t have to wait a long time for landing pages to load. Interstitial pages, multiple redirects, excessively slow servers, and other things that can increase load times only keep users from getting what they want: information about your business. Second, users are more likely to abandon landing pages that load slowly, which can hurt your conversion rate.

When are we making this change?
In the next few weeks, we will add load time evaluations to the Keyword Analysis page (we’ll notify you when they are available). You will then have one month to review your site and make necessary adjustments.

After the one month review period, this load time factor will be incorporated into your keywords’ Quality Scores. Keywords with landing pages that load very slowly may get lower Quality Scores (and thus higher minimum bids). Conversely, keywords with landing pages that load very quickly may get higher Quality Scores and lower minimum bids.

I don’t think they have implemented it yet, but I do see it sneaking a peek on the horizon.

The big questions are:

  1. How much weight will load time have in your over all SERPs?
  2. What will the Ideal load time be?

I have been building sites for years and one consideration I give is LOAD TIME. It seems the faster our internet connections are the faster the users want to see the page load.

In the old days waiting for a page to load was the standard and it was expected. It was during this era I instituted a 20 kb size limit per page (at least the landing and category pages). As broadband became the norm I have let this slide a bit, I still shoot for a 20 kb page but a 40+ kb page has shown up on some of the sites I have developed.

As an internet user my self I hate waiting for a page to load on the screen. I don’t think I am that much different than other web users either. I am glad that Google is even considering Load Time. I can’t wait until it becomes part of the Google Algorithm.

So put your pages on a diet, watch the videos, the music, and the flash. Slow load times just might come back to bite you in the posterior.

Maybe we can get more information on this at SEMpdx SearchFest ’08?

late,
gary pool

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One Response to “Does Load Time Effect Your Google Organic Search Listing?”

  1. Media Districts Entertainment Blog » Does Load Time Effect Your Google Organic Search Listing?
    March 8th, 2008 @ 7:36 pm

    [...] Gary Pool S.E.O. placed an observative post today on Does Load Time Effect Your Google Organic Search Listing?Here’s a quick excerpt [...]