How Webpage Load Times Can Affect Your Google Rankings

New data is out to show that visitors want webpage load times in 2 seconds or less, and Google says fast sites may get slight preference in rankings.

A new study by Akamai confirms that Internet users are as fickle as ever.  Their new study released in September this year shows that 47% of consumers expect an e-commerce website to load in 2 seconds or less.  While the study focuses on e-commerce, I can’t imagine the behavior is much different on a non-e-commerce website.

You might remember the study we did several months ago where we took the Akamai study from 2006 and developed a visitor loss curve from 0 to 30 seconds using some fancy math.  We use this data in our SiteJuice product to tell site owners how much potential visitors they could be losing based on how long their page is taking to load.  Our curve is based on a visitor patience of up to 4 seconds.

How this affects your Google rankings

Google search engineer, Matt Cutts, has mentioned twice now that Google may be giving a slight advantage to pages that load quickly, while slow loaders won’t receive a penalty on their rankings.  Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz writes about in their blog post yesterday, where “web page load times can positively influence rankings.

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