March 2012 Newsletter

Speed - Part 1

**** The 4specs Perspective

One factor in the success of your website is the overall speed of the website. Speed affects how visitors use your website and affects your Google ranking. Speed was the topic of the June 2010 4specs newsletter:
Speed, Speed, Speed and More Speed.

This article from Web Performance Today covers many of the reasons why you need to be concerned about your web performance.
[Web page no longer available]

One of the reported 200 factors in Google's algorithm used to prioritize search results is the time to download and display pages, with slow websites receiving a penalty. Google Webmaster Tools reports on the average speed of the website. Here is more information on the Google Webmaster Tools program from a past newsletter:
http://www.4specs.com/s2a/news/1003_site_maps.html

You may remember this graph from the June 2010 newsletter. This shows the 4specs page speed when we started to focus on our speed two years ago:

March

Google uses the 1.5 second page load time to divide fast and slow sites. This is a good target to work towards on your website. I have observed only a few manufacturer pages with load times under 2 seconds.

For the past two years there has been a continued drop in the page load times on 4specs. As Google is measuring actual load times, I attribute this continued drop to an increase in the user's Internet connection speed.

March

Google recently added a Site Speed graph to their Google Analytics program - look under Content>Site Speed in your Analytics to find your speed. This data is drawn from a very different source than the Webmaster Tools program shown above. Reviewing your data will give you some ideas on your site speed.

Speed - Google Analytics

Next month I'll start to look at typical problems I see on manufacturer websites. I'll use a tool you can use on your website and provide specific solutions you can adopt.

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Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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