Page Speed – An Important SEO Factor
I’ve been reading a lot lately what affects SEO especially in Google searches with their latest changes. It appears that page speed is an important factor. I’ve been running reports on various websites and blogs and can you guess which format comes up the fastest?
If you guessed Blogger websites and /or blogs you are correct! It all started when I searched Mayura4Ever since he is the king of tech and Blogger type websites. His page speed was 100! A perfect score. Not even Matt Cutts blogger blog is 100. (Matt’s Blogger blog is a 92 – I stand corrected it’s a WP blog). I started to look at my own blogger sites and saw them in the 90’s. My WordPress was in the 70’s and other websites were in the 80’s. I started to look at many other websites and found the same thing. Very interesting, isn’t it?
What was interesting about WordPress was the FREE WordPress sites were faster than most of the self-hosted websites. I’ve been noticng more retailers using the FREE version and coming up better on Google search. Will WordPress take down their blog sites since they are linking to big retail sites and show products, etc? Remember my site that just disappeared? I’m testing it with our new retail website and only will have one link to the retail site from the WordPress blog. Even my own personal wordpress blog that is a resume comes up on page one of Google when my name is searched. (Have you Googled yourself lately? Or Binged Yourself? (You will see different results via each search engine) That really surprised me and made me think more about the FREE WordPress sites. I also noticed in researching for this blog post was the the Genesis themed self-hosted WordPress websites ranked a little faster in the high 80’s. Few reached the 90’s with WordPress.
Other Format Websites
I checked out other big websites like Amazon which ranked at 92 on page speed and The New York Times which came in very slow at 56. Very few retailers made it to the 90’s with their websites. Other sites like Microsoft and Apple came in the 80’s. I’d love to know if you find websites in the high 90’s or at 100 like Mayura.
Ways to Test Your Page Speed
For this post I used the Google page speed tool. It is a browser extension that you can use with Chrome or Firefox. It scores sites from 0-100 with 100 being the best. It also gives you recommendations on what can be done. Of course they are very technical. I could not fully understand all the recommendations. You can also test via GTMetrix. The basic issues of speed were:
- Optimize Images – I’ve been doing this more lately with a free service on the web called JPEG-Optmizer. You can also find one for png images too. You don’t have to change the size of the images – you can just check off compress image.
- You can also use Yahoo Smush.it to optimize your images. Another FREE service. Don’t you love the name SMUSH IT ?
- Serve Scaled Images. Don’t always use the biggest images you can find. Scale them down.
- Leverage Browser Cache – This is one that I need to learn more about. There are plug-ins you can use for this. I’ve read Rob’s blog which was helpful too. Of course I’m trying to eliminate as many plug-ins as possible and go with coding. How many plug-ins do you have?
What Else Can You DoTo Increase Your Page Speed?
- Use less plug-ins. Plug-ins take a lot of space. I just got rid of 3 myself. No more image of my eBook on the widget. No more slideshare plug-in, they can just be embedded now.
- Use less widgets. They too can take a lot of space.
- Use your control panel – there is an optimize button – Easy!
- Use compressed images either in jpeg or png formats.
- If you are more technical, there is a great post from Hostgator on the subject that I was directed to this morning on tech support. Of course some of it made my head spin but if you understand much of the tech talk there it will help.
- Be sure to clear your cache and retest after changing things. This blog’s page speed went from 73 to 86.
I’d love to hear about your page speed and how you are increasing yours.
Car image – Image courtesy of Jon Whiles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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