Have you ever thought that your small business website may be too slow for Google? For many small business owners, the thought probably never crossed their minds.
Google did a study on how users respond to slow loading web pages, and the results were astonishing.
Google Cautions Business Owners to Not Sacrifice Their Content
Before you get up and start changing your entire website because it “could” be slow per Google’s standards, you need to keep reading. Once Google released their page speed study results, they also told business owners that their new ranking factor will not impact most website queries. However, business owners can check to see if their websites are running slow on Google through their page speed tool found in Google Webmaster Tools.
Results of the Google Page Speed Experiment
Google intentionally slowed down user’s search results to determine how much of an impact it made during people’s keyword searches online. They slowed down the search results by 100-400 milliseconds over a period of 6 weeks. When their experiment concluded, there was a drop in user searches between 0.2-0.6% when page speed decreased by only half a second. Google noticed users were not as engaged as they were when their web pages loaded quicker.
Learn How Google Measures Page Speed
Small business owners can figure out how fast their website pages load when they go into their Google Webmaster Tools. Once logged in, there is a page speed tool. You can use the page speed tool to find out how fast or slow your website loads. If you have a few pages that load slower than the rest, the tool will tell you which pages you could change in order to increase the loading speed. Google measures website page speed by using their Googlebot program, and through the load times when measured through their Google toolbar.
Google’s Algorithm and Page Speed
There are said to be around 200 factors Google takes into consideration when ranking your website in their search engine. Page speed is now one of the factors.
However, even if your page loads a little slower than the rest good quality content should not be changed for the sake of speed. Quality content will always trump speed.
Small business owners don’t have to start re-creating their entire website to make their pages load faster. It might be as simple as hiring a web developer to optimize website speed.
Also, Google mentions that they have been using the page speed factor when they rank website for the past month, so if you haven’t noticed a change in your rank, chances are it won’t change in the future.