Google Tools 101: Page Speed Online

Darren Franks - June 29, 2011

The relatively new (and free) Google page speed testing utility:   is a really invaluable tool for any web developer looking to identify which elements of code could be cleaned up to make their site faster. Why is this useful for SEO?

First, user experience should always be the primary goal for any website; how can I sell my product if the user gets frustrated with how long it takes for a page to load? Second, Google now considers page load time as a ranking signal in their algorithm, meaning that they will give ranking priority to sites that have optimized their pages for loading in people’s browsers.

What are some of the suggestions you are likely to see once you enter the URL of the domain you wish to check? What’s nice about this tool is that Google gives you a prioritized list of items to tackle and essentially says, “If you clean up these things first, you will likely have better results”:

Example of Google’s Page Speed Online tool

Page Speed Online suggestions could include optimizing (compressing) images, combining external JavaScript files so there are fewer requests to a server and removing CSS files that are no longer used.  

The very first thing you see once you have entered the URL will be a score out of 100; this will alert you to the severity of the issues that were found. A high score indicates little room for improvement, while a lower score indicates more optimizing to reduce page load time. Have you used Page Speed Online recently?

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