Google Page Speed: A Scoring Signal

Google Page Speed Accelerator Program / Yahoo YSlow

The whole world is moving toward a faster and more energy-efficient future. However, the amount of information being processed over the internet is growing exponentially. In an effort to address these trends, the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), as well as all of the world-leading search engines, have recommended that websites take steps towards reducing their demand on both energy and bandwidth resources.

At the same time, Google Caffeine, the latest update to the world's most powerful algorithm, is now placing significant weight on the amount of time and processing power a website requires to load when creating their Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Therefore, page loading time is now a powerful factor in Google's search rankings. This alone should be enough to make all webmasters stand up and pay attention to this issue.

Why Should You Increase Your Website's Page Speed?

  • Increases user retention and activity by increasing page views and time spent on the site
  • Higher revenue - faster pages will help improve conversions and order value
  • Saves $$$ by lowering bandwidth and hardware costs
  • Energy efficiency
  • Better Search Engine Rankings

 

How do You Increase Your Website's Google Page Speed?

SEO Inc. has been testing the various factors that affect a site's page speed. Unfortunately, there is not a single action that you can take to make the level of improvement which most sites need. Getting a faster page load time and score requires a combination of making improvements to the web server and the code on the website. In some cases, it may require significant rebuilding of the code on the website. Can most web developers make the changes needed? Our experience tells us that the answer to that question is no. Even the most seasoned developers have a steep learning curve when it comes to knowing how to do some of these things and which items to attach first.

There is some good news. Thorough, professional seo optimization will improve your website's page speed; however, most SEO companies do not go much further than making adjustments to your meta information and on-page content. This alone may not be enough, but it is certainly a good start and another reason why you should select an SEO Company that will make some of these improvements as part of their base-level SEO package.

Here is a list of some of the tasks your webmaster will need to do in order to make improvements to your website's page speed:

SERVER SETTINGS

  • Add expires headers & leverage browser caching
  • Compress components with GZIP amp; enable GZIP compression
  • Configure entity tags (ETags)
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Use GET for AJAX requests

JAVASCRIPT & CSS

  • Put CSS in the Document Head
  • Defer loading of JavaScript
  • Use efficient CSS selectors (avoid CSS expressions)
  • Minify JavaScript and CSS
  • Combine & externalize CSS and JavaScript
  • Remove duplicate JavaScript and CSS
  • Remove unused CSS
  • Optimize the order of styles and scripts
  • Avoid AlphaImageLoader Filter

IMAGES

  • Do not scale images in HTML (specify image dimensions)
  • Optimize images
  • Make favicon small and cacheable

TREATMENT OF COOKIES

  • Minimize cookie size
  • Serve static content from a cookie-free domain

CONTENT & HTML

  • Reduce the number of DOM elements
  • Make fewer HTTP requests & parallelize downloads across hostnames
  • Minimize DNS lookups
  • Avoid URL redirects
  • Make AJAX cacheable
  • Avoid HTTP 404 (page not found) error
  • Serve resources from a consistent URL