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Faster Website = Higher Search Engine Rankings

Faster Website = Higher Search Engine Rankings


Faster Website = Higher Search Engine Rankings

by Rick Smith

Faster loading websites may now have an advantage over slower sites in competing for search engine rankings. One of the most important elements to implement for the Google Caffeine update is making your website load quicker.

Website load times can be improved and the list below includes some web performance issues:

Minimize HTTP Requests - Front-end downloading of page components, such as, images, style sheets, scripts, or Flash, can use up to 90% of end user response time.

Reduce Number of DNS Lookups - Hostnames are used in a page URL, images, script files, style sheets, Flash objects, etc. Reducing the number of hostnames reduces the DNS lookups.

Use a Content Delivery Network - A content delivery network is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations to deliver content more efficiently to users.

Add an Expires or a Cache-Control Header - These headers increase the number of components that are cached by the browser to make subsequent page views faster.

Use Gzip Components - File compression can be an easy way to accelerate page load times by reducing page weight and the size of the HTTP response.

Place Style Sheets at the Top - Moving style sheets to the document HEAD makes pages appear to be loading faster, because it allows the pages to render progressively in the browser.

Place Scripts at the Bottom - If possible, putting scripts at the bottom of pages can increase page load speed, because scripts can block parallel downloads.

Avoid Using CSS Expressions - These properties can slow down a page because they are evaluated by the browser when rendered, resized, scrolled, or with mouse movements.

Make JavaScript and CSS External - One technique is to inline JavaScript and CSS in the front page, but dynamically down load the external files after the page has finished loading.

Minify JavaScript and CSS - Minifying removes unnecessary characters, comments, and white spaces from code to reduce its size, thereby improving load times.

Avoid Page Redirects - Inserting a redirect delays everything in the page since nothing can be rendered and no components can downloaded until the HTML document has arrived.

Reduce Size of Cookies - Keep cookie sizes as low as possible to minimize the impact on the user response time, or eliminate them if not needed.

There are more, but this list highlights some of the main factors for improving page load times, which may boost search engine rankings, and possibly reduce website bounce rate.

Google added a site performance section in their Webmaster Tools to help webmasters improve load times and create a faster experience for users. If Google wants faster websites, then it's time to get up to speed and compete for higher rankings.

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