Over the past several years, Google has been all about speed. Three years ago, in April 2010, they indicated the speed of your website is a ranking factor. In 2011, they launched the Page Speed reports and tools to help site owners speed up how fast their pages load.
Last year, Google published the findings of a study of the speed on the web. The study focused on three aspects of speed:
- Page load time.
- Execution speed of events.
- The time it takes for browsers to render a downloaded page and its elements.
Data was represented in aggregate, but also by country, desktop vs. mobile and other factors.
This year, Google has updated that study and has determined the web is getting faster. Now granted, technology has gotten better. Servers have become more powerful and therefore faster.
The continued deployment of additional 4G/LTE towers to various markets also contributes to the increased speeds. Also the speed and processing power of mobile devices like smart phones and tablets also contributes.
However, the average size of web pages has increased by 56 percent since last year. (The study didn't mention why, but I suspect Google Panda has something to do with that.)
Google's study has taken all these factors into account and they presented the results of their findings this week.
The result? Desktop webpage load times have decreased slightly. However, mobile page load speeds have decreased by 30 percent. Nearly every county noted a positive trend toward faster page load times on mobile.
Google has published an entire set of webmaster help documentation centered around site speed. From how Google measures site speed to practical advice on what it means for you as a site owner, Google is all about site speed.
While certainly a ranking factor site owners should be concerned with, the most important consideration Google notes on site speed is that site speed tracking has no impact on bounce rate for your site. At a time where people get confused on that issue, Google is at least setting the record straight.
Have you been adding content to your site since Panda hit? Are you using Google's PageSpeed Insights and other tools to check your page load speeds? Let us know what you're doing – and what you think of the speed study – in the comments below.
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!