Give Your Site a Boost with Google’s Page Speed Tool

Lee Zoumas - June 23, 2010

A couple months ago, Google announced that it does consider a site’s speed as part of its ranking algorithm. Although the weight of the overall ranking that is attributed to a site’s speed is relatively small, it is still something that should be part of a company’s SEO efforts. There are a variety of tools available to test your site’s speed and they all seem to analyze similar metrics: network, cache, and JavaScript events.

A tool that we ran against some of our sites is Google’s Page Speed (, which is a free Firefox plugin. After running the tool, we were presented with a Page Speed Score, which is a number between 1 and 100 that is based on a number of criteria, including browser caching, downloads across hostnames, static content, minifying CSS, etc. Although some of the items are a little more difficult to tweak without a major overhaul, we noticed that some items can be tweaked with minimal effort. Some of the easy fixes we were able to implement to boost our score (by an average of 8 points) were:

  1. Setting our images to cache for a week
  2. Making sure all our images had width and height dimensions assigned to them.
  3. Optimizing certain images to reduce their size
  4. Implement the compressed CSS and JavaScript files that were automatically created

We then got curious and ran the tool against several popular websites, such as Google News, Apple, Yahoo, Dell and Microsoft. Needless to say Google News had the highest score (98, no surprise there) and Apple had the lowest (71, kind of surprised). The one metric that this tool does not measure, which I would like to see, is server load time. Overall, we have found Google’s Page Speed tool to be a valuable part of our SEO implementations projects.

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