Earlier today, Search Engine Land posted about a new label that Google appears to be testing in its search results pages. The red “slow” label warns people that your site is unacceptably slow. This label isn’t a trivial feature. If you care about performance, user experience, and SEO, then you should care about this potential game-changer.
It’s a well-known fact that site speed is a critical ranking factor for organic search. One of the most-asked questions I receive is: How exactly does Google do this? Over the last year and a bit, I’ve done quite a bit of digging to get the answers. I thought it would be useful to start an FAQ-style repository for the answers.
Google Instant is going to fundamentally change how people search. Eventually, page 2 search results are going to be irrelevant. Page 1 will be the new bar. The companies that hit that bar will be the companies that are ready to squeeze every last ounce of performance from their sites.
VIDEO: O’Reilly’s Mac Slocum interviewed me at Velocity, and we covered a few topics: mobile web performance, the difficulties of data gathering, site speed and SEO, and easy ways that every “mortal company” (aka a company that’s not Google, Microsoft or Amazon) can optimize their site.
Want to get a sense of if and how your site could be affected by Google’s new search algorithms? The first step is to understand your competition. Here’s a quick four-step guide to benchmarking your site’s speed against your competitors.
In my ongoing quest to figure out how website performance affects Google’s search rankings, here’s one example of a site that positively affected how it interacted with Googlebot after being optimized.