Google and The Buzz, The Rumor, The Gossip about Speed

Once upon a time it was “Meta Tags” Tag it and rank. This became passe and “old school” PageRank was the new king of SEO and ranking. The capital of commerce was “What’s your PR?” If you had PR you could trade, wheel and deal.
Now there is a rumor that PR has gone the way of Meta Tags. But what is the new kid on the block? “THE NEED FOR SPEED”

Yep, the gossip for 2010 is that Google will be taking a close look at your site’s page load time and this will effect organic rankings.

Google Webmaster Tools has a section called Labs. Under Labs is Site Performance.   I can almost guarantee if you look at it you are going to see your site listed as “SLOW”.

Well, that’s the BUZZ, The Rumor, The Gossip, but is it something you need to be concerned about?

I won’t lead you on, or make you read to the very end to find out the answer.   There are too many posts that document all the things that didn’t work before giving you the answer.   The answer is NO!   NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.

The post I would have written had I gotten to the topic sooner instead of spending days pulling out my hair (what little of it that is left) trying to understand the page speed recommendations.   Google Site Performance – No Need To Panic.   Read this as a great primer for the upcoming posts on Page Load Speed.

Here are some topics I’ll be covering in the next week or so for those that want to have some New Years geeking over Page Load Times.

Google Webmaster Tools – Site Performance

This is new under Labs and if you have much content on your blog, you will get a nice surprise when you click on this.   A page dedicated to analysis of Page Load Speed will lock up your entire browser for up to 20 seconds while it LOADS.   (I kid you not.)

The FireFox Page Speed add-on

This will drive you crazy and make you think you know nothing at all.   The Blue pill or the Red you decide.

Page Load Time Testing

Some simple things you can do to test page load times and analysis in English instead of FF Page Speed Geek Speak.

Page Load Time Tuning

Some things you can do to help your blog load faster.   A little Geeks speak but mostly practical steps even a newbie geek can put into practice.

The Lab and My Pet Rat

The Making of a faster, speedier Rat.   Load time from 9 seconds to 2.5

That’s the round-up of topics on Google and Page Load Speed for your blog in 2010.   I might even have to add a new category for these.   And if there are any new Goodies for your blog I’ll mix those in for taste and texture.

It is going to be an interesting kick-off for 2010.

Got any questions? Feel free to ask. Anything not covered you want to know, let me know. Oh, and Happy Blue Moon. (You can take that however you want)


  1. Looking forward to your posts! I need some practical “try doing this” advice – I’ve heard enough of the warnings, now I need to know what to do about them.
    .-= Carrie Isaac´s last blog ..Colorado Springs and El Paso County Zoning Maps =-.

  2. Our graph for site speed in the webmasters panel is rediculous. We constantly fluctuate between being “faster than 90% of sites” with 1.1s load time to “slower than 80% of sites” 9.5s in the same week.

    What’s even more boggling is that I monitor the site performance from multiple datacenters (east coast and west coast) and notice very little fluctuations. Google makes me want to pull my hair out.

  3. Gainesville,

    You need to read the post referenced above. When you do you will realize that:

    “Google’s “googlebot” is not collecting this data. Only actual people going to your website with the toolbar and page rank enabled will provide data back to Google. This may mean it’s quite a small sample size for data about your site’s performance.”

    This means that YOU are providing most of the data because you go there most of the time. I’ll almost guarantee that the pages which show up are your blog admin pages. Which we all know load slow. This is one of Google Lab’s experiments. We can learn from it but based on the data extraction method we will never be able to get a high load speed. Don’t worry about it.


  4. Dave,

    Thanks for your response. I was under the impression that the tool is using Google Analytics to collect data because that made the most sense to me. If it’s only the toolbar, now I understand the discrepencies.