Does speed of page loads count for SEO?

I am just wondering, does google consider the page loading/server response time in calculating the page rank?
I mean, will the sites that load pages very fast rank higher than sites that load pages slower? I mean if page is generated dymanically and there are many sql queries, it make take 2 seconds to just send a response vs a static page or page that uses cache and may send response in 1/10 of a second.

Is this important for SEO?

The slower loading page will have fewer incoming links and will rank lower because of that if nothing else.

That’s not what I mean. I mean does google take the page load speed into account when it calculates the page’s ‘weight’? Does Google measure the server response speed - time between request and when page finished loading?

Yes I think Google is calculating it.

i think it is one factor for whether your site has a good rank.You know, if your page load slow, visitors could leave before they can see your page.It is not well for users.

i don’t know about the Google part but on how important it is for SEO, I’d say it is one of the factors. If a visitor finds a website and it loads very slowly, there is a chance that the visitor may leave and will just look for another website instead. it can be a cause of lost in traffic.

Google Caffeine , set to release in the beginning of the year , load times will matter.

No real research, but most of the SEOs claim that the page load speed has an effect on google rankings. Google usually picks up the faster loading website among the few competing ones, as the end readers would also need the same.

But its not the only factor, so if you have optimized the site in every other way to hit the other sites pretty easily, google won’t take the page load speed into consideration then. its a small part of SEO.
Just reduce the page size, by removing unnecessary codes, scripts etc. and optimize the image size so that the page speed increases, and the main part, select a good web host.

I don’t think page load time is considered for pagerank but if a site loads slower then most of the visitors will never see you site at the first place. Slow loading site means scaring visitors away that will really harm your earning and reputation. But if you are running wordpress, you can use WPcache to speed up the loading process especially when you are running your site in low speed server.

Of course it doesn’t since pagerank onmly measures links. That wasn’t the question thoug. We all know that pagerank has nothing to do with SEO, the question was whether page load times affect SEO. Obviously page load times will affect SEO far more than pagerank will since pagerank is almost meaningless.


It’s the whole reason that they have invested time/effort in:

Thanks for the extremely useful info.

I request the forum members to post links to Google Webmaster Blogs wherever possible for authenticity.

Yeah, good links Serio.

Whereas before Google encouraged us to have good page load times, it’s now looking like it’ll officially be part of the ranking algo but I can’t see it being a significant signal, just another one of the many smaller factors after relevance and links. Apparantly, and contrary to what you’d expect, it’s not going to be a negative signal, i.e. if you have a slow page load time it won’t work against you but a fast load time could increase your ranking.

New & Interesting Insights Into Google Rankings & Spam from Pubcon - SEOMOZ

Page Load Time & Speed Will Likely Be a Ranking Factor in Google - video interview with Matt Cutts

Test your site - [URL=“”]Google code - Let’s make the web faster

Google have made several website speed related announcements in the past month.

  1. Page Speed Firefox Addon (released during the summer)
  2. Ranking. Fast websites will be favored over slow websites in its search results (Matt Cutts announcement at PubCon in Nov).
  3. SPDY Protocol. (Nov)
  4. Google Analytics. Faster tracking code load times for web pages. (Dec)
  5. Site Performance: Google Webmaster Central tool. Presents information about the speed of your site and suggestions for making it faster. (Dec)
  6. Google Public DNS. Promising faster browsing speeds. (Dec)
  7. Speed Tracer. Helps diagnose web application speed blocks. (Dec)

So… page load speed is going to matter with the release of Caffeine - they are preparing us for it, the only question is what ranking weight will Google place on this as a factor - as yet ‘unknown’, but one thing is for sure there are huge $ benefits for them if web pages load faster so my guess is that website speed will be given a significant weighting in order to encourage it. I was surprised the website speed wasn’t mentioned in the SEMOZ 8 Predictions for SEO in 2010 - big oversight in my view.

Aside form Google making website speed a ranking factor there’s a lot of research available about how a faster website benefits an online business:

  1. Higher pages views: people can move through a site faster so they view more
  2. Higher ad clickthroughs: because they are viewing more pages they are clicking on more ads and generally interacting more with the website
  3. Higher task completion rates: because they can do more faster, sign-ups, profile creation increase
  4. Conversion rates increase. Because they can do more, visitors will complete more.
  5. Save money on data transfer costs (huge $$$ savings for high traffic sites, forums etc). If page loads faster it means less data needs to transfer from web server to browser, this reduces what you pay if data transfer is included in your costs
  6. Helps latency. A difficult concept to explain but incredible important if your visitors are international - in brief, the further your visitor is from the web server your web page are hosted on, the further the data that makes up the web page (e.g. images, scripts) needs to travel before the page loads in the browser of your visitor - therefore even though your site may appear to load fast for you (because perhaps you’re in the same country where the web server is located) for visitors in London, Sydney, Mumbai e.g. they will be experience all very different page load times. So, you may be hosted with GoDaddy with your site on a server in the US but maybe you sell mostly to Europe, your pages load on average 4 secs for you but what you don’t know is that its taking 14secs for the same page to load in London - that is the reality of Latency. So, if you have a website that is optimized for speed you obviously reduce the effect of latency and give your international visitors a faster experience which, in turn, leds to an increase in the activities listed above.
  7. People just enjoy a faster website more than a slow one - it gives them a better visitor experience - if they have a good visitor experience they are more likely to do more, stay longer, recommend your site, come back

The big guys e.g. Amazon, Bestbuy, Wallmart etc all have teams of people dedicated to shaving every milisecond off page load - because - they have known for a long time that a faster website has a direct and positive influence on sales and on search engine ranking. Shopzilla directly attributes its increase in organic search results to its increase in site speed in this video “Shopzilla’s Site Redo - You Get What You Measure”. I have no proof for this but I too believe page load speed has been influencing search engine positioning gor a while, Shopzilla noticed it and I have noticed it on my sites that I have optimized.

Now, I am by no means an engineer or expert but I am convinced a fast website is a definate edge in the SERPS.

it’s not going to be a negative signal, i.e. if you have a slow page load time it won’t work against you but a fast load time could increase your ranking.

A slow webite will work against you if your competitors have faster ones and this, in turn, gives their site an edge over yours in the SERPS.

SEO is all about ways you can maximise the ranking factors and right now, especially the big sites and those in very competitive markets, are focusing on this upcoming factor an an opportunity to get an edge and to mitigate a risk to their business online i.e. the risk to their search engine positioning.

If you think about it you will realise that sentence is not logical.

Consider - the page listed in position one has a mediocre load time and the page listed in position two reworks their page so it loads faster.

From your statement the page that was in position two will potentially move up due to this improvement but the page that was in psotition one will be unaffected as they haven’t changed the speed that their page loads at. Both pages are therefore position one (which is of course impossible - the faster page moving up will of course force the other page down.

A good discussion. I didn’t even know that it is also a good factors in Google. All I know if your pages loads slowly your visitors will get bored and leave your site.

If your site took more time to load it will effect directly on the user landing on your page. He will just close your site. You might have a good site and good content but if the loading speed is slow user will not come to ur site next time.

The speed that your page loads has more of an effect on how quickly Google will index your new content than it does your actual rankings. If Google is able to very quickly load your pages then the spider will be able to crawl more pages in the time it spends on your website.

SEO includes many things and they don’t all have to do with rankings. Speeding up the loading time of your website is optimization and it’s recommended whenever you can without sacrificing quality content.

Matt Cutts at PubCon last month

"We are starting to think more and more about whether speed should be a factor in Google’s rankings. We haven’t used it yet in our web rankings, but a lot of people within Google think the web should be fast, it should be a good experience.

Its fair to say if you’re a fast site you should get a bonus, and if you are a slow site, perhaps people don’t want that as much."

Landing page load time has been an Adwords Quality Score factor since March 2008, Caffeine is the evolution of that to organic search.


SEO includes many things and they don’t all have to do with rankings.

You tell that to a client who’s on page 2 and below for their primary keywords.

Going back to the original question: Does speed of page loads count for SEO?
I would say yes it definately does.