Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an art and science combined. SEO basics are well publicised such as the importance of linking, the use of relevant keywords in text and publishing of fresh content. Unfortunately what we know about SEO best practice is a small proportion of what the search engines use to determine the important of a website. Bing, Yahoo, Google and the other Search Engines / Answer Engines use hundreds of factors to determine where to rank websites and pages in organic search results.
Page Load Times and SEO
One factor which isn’t often discussed as an important SEO activity is the loading speed of pages (page load time). The Search Engines, in their SEO guidance, continuously advise that creating content for people is SEO best practice. Page load time in critical in getting people to visit pages other than landing pages of a site as well as getting people to revisit the website. It would therefore no be surprising if Google, Bing and the others use page load time as part of their ranking algorithms.
Tools to identify Speed Enhancement
Page Speed is an Open Source Project and is a Firefox Add-on which works in tandem with the Firebug Add-on. Page Speed analyses various factors on the web page, from the clients’ perspective, and makes suggestions for speed improvements. Both YSlow and Page Speed may be used without financial cost therefore are well worth engaging.
Hello High Performance Pages
People do not stay on websites which are slow to load. Being aware of the need for high performance websites is critical for effective SEO and using tools such as Google Page Speed and Yahoo YSlow will assist with identifying where load speeds may be improved.