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In today’s papers I saw an advertisement saying “Computers for Sale”. The title still resonates in my head, and here is why:

When Google started acknowledging lately they are taking the page speed load into the account to determine how high to rank it in the search engine results listings we all started looking into the performance of our sites. Google Webmaster Console shows a lovely graphs showing the average page speed load of your site. In there they also show the differentiation of the FAST – page that loads in less than 1.5 seconds and SLOW – the pages that load slower than this magic number.

In all fairness, not a large percentage of the whole we loads faster than 1.5 seconds. So what Google did there really did upset quite a lot of people. Most of the web sites are hosted today on some shared hosting with thousands of others on the same server. Almost none of those will get to the FAST load bracket. Especially is those are database driven web sites, as most of the sites are today really.

There are two contributors to the web site speed:
Coding of your web site
Hardware your site is running on

Also if you are on some shared host – the fact what other sites are on the server make a difference, since each site takes a bit of the resources your site has available.

When I saw my blog www.seoconsultant.ie in the Google Webmaster Console’s Site Performance chart:

Performance overview

On average, pages in your site take 2.3 seconds to load (updated on May 10, 2011). This is faster than 62% of sites. These estimates are of low accuracy (fewer than 100 data points). The chart below shows how your site’s average page load time has changed over the last few months. For your reference, it also shows the 20th percentile value across all sites, separating slow and fast load times.

SEO CONSULTANT - google webmaster console load speed
I got scared really. 2.3 seconds to load on average, and Google shows 1.5 seconds as a fast. What it tells me in between the lines, as Google always tells us things in between the lines is – your page is slow. Hence we do not rank it high in hte results pages. Get the load speed under 1.5 seconds, and we will rank you higher.

Isn’t that a fair reading of their message? I’ll let you be the judge of that!

My site is a on a WordPress blog platform. I do not influence the speed of it much. What I control that contributes to the page load speed is the WordPress Theme, and WordPress pluggins I use, and the content I put on the site. I do not have any large images, or many of small ones that I could remove to speed the load time up. So the only thing I could change is to put it on the faster server, or the server that has less load.

And here is that newspaper advertising Computers for Sale, that still resonates in my mind. To get my web site to load faster, I will need to put it on the faster server. Or in other words, to get higher in Google search results, I will need to go to Computers for Sale or something similar and get a new high spec serer to run my site on.

Then again considering that my site is faster than 62% of the sites, do I really have to? Or is it important at all that there are sites slower than mine at all? Or is it only relevant only that 38% are faster than mine, and since according to Google themselves, appearing higher in the Google search results pages?

I am not too sure to be honest. Jet that flashy advertisement Computers for Sale is still echoing in the back of my head.

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