Page Load Time Impact on Search Engine Rankings
Are web performance, search engine ranking and customer experience separate, or are they some sort of amalgam? Page Loading Time measures website content loading time, from initial user entry to completion of loading in the browser. This measure is acknowledged to be critical and fundamental to e-commerce.
From a performance management standpoint, the page loading metric is key, and widely used on its own. It seems however that the topics of page loading/web performance frequently lead immediately to other considerations impacting overall web utility. The interaction of performance issues, SEO ranking and user experience is widely discussed and factored into provider tools and technology directions.
SEO and Page Loading Time
Google and Bing use page loading-speed as a ranking factor, though it ranks relatively low on the list of 200 other factors. Still, all of the ramifications of using SEO techniques to bring in users point to the importance of adequate page loading time.
User Experience and Page Loading Time
Page loading time contributes to successful customer experience, and search engine and UX communities continue to embrace the concept. Google is starting to pay more attention to user experience quality, something adversely affected by slow sites. Word from the UX community is that website users care too much about speed and not enough about aesthetics and functionality.
Fine Distinctions and Amalgams
There is a growing consensus that web performance areas need to be examined within a larger context. The word “nuance” is frequently used to convey this perspective. The view is that looking at speed alone is too simplistic, and that broader goals, such as conversion, might not be achievable without knowledge of the sometimes subtle interplay between traditional performance metrics, SEO and user experience.
Traditional optimization approaches might only achieve 80% of desired performance because of the need to explore the impact of other features. Looking at complex relationships across web technologies sounds exciting. In fact, Google is analyzing page load times in the context of sensory memory processors as a way of synchronizing user perceptions with phenomena such as information display rates. And it may be that optimizing isolated pages does not do much to support performance of a complete user flow scenario.
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