During many optimization projects, webmasters like to focus on on-page considerations such as content, keyword targeting and density, but none of that matters if your website has technical issues that inhibit it from being seen by the search engines. In this post, we take a high-level approach to technical SEO to give you an idea of what you should focus on before you even think about optimizing your content.
Last week, Google officially announced on their blog that “we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed.” What does this mean to webmasters and practitioners of SEO? Not much really, when you take into account that most good SEOs already consider site speed to be a huge part of their optimization efforts. After all, the quicker your site loads, the easier it is for the search engines to get to the most important pages on a site. Site speed is obviously also good for user experience and keeping those bounce rates at a low level.
However, the reason it may be more prudent for the less fastidious SEO to speed up page load times is that the load times are now part of the algorithms in that even if you have a site with great content and inbound links, if your pages take forever to load, Google may see fit to not rank you as high. What are some of the basic housekeeping tips to speed up page load times?
A slow loading website may not only deter your visitors, but in the near future may affect your search engine rankings. In an interview with Google’s Matt Cutts, Webpronews.com recently reported that site speed may become a factor in ranking sometime in 2010. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Google wants to make the search experience relevant and fast. The faster searchers can get the information they are looking for the better.
While the above tips will get you started, Google has more information about increasing your page speed which can be found here: http://code.google.com/speed/.