Google’s Need for Speed
In April 2010, Google finally made official what many suspected for some time, website load time has a direct impact on Google Rank. In other words, the longer it takes your page to load, the lower rank you will receive from Google – the Mecca of online search.
The reality is, the slower your internet moves, the less time you will spend surfing. Its common sense and also proven from Google’s own research. These “surf laws” dictate that quickly returned results and speedy browsers equal a heightened user experience and therefore a higher Page Rank from Google.
On March 31st of this year, Google not only made the importance of load speed clear, they also went a step further to help site owners decipher the factors impacting the speed of their websites. Google Lab’s new web performance tool Page Speed breaks it down by category and exposes each element on the site that is having an impact on the load speed.
Choose the Fastest In-Text Network
In-Text Ad Networks correlate specific keywords (often double underlined) within the content of a web-page to relevant advertising which appears in a bubble. Infolinks and Kontera are two of the most popular In-Text ads networks in the industry. Let’s see how each performed at Defer Parsing.
*notes: JohnChow.com was used for Infolinks.com and gayot.com for Kontera/
This answers what feels like a never-ending debate amongst publishers as to whether In-Text Ads slow down websites. Technology analysis with Google’s own tools reveals that Kontera slows down page load time which lowers Google rank, while Infolinks is 50 times faster and so a much better choice for website publishers who seek Google traffic.
Winning the Toolbar Race
Toolbars are a great instrument for publishers to centrally locate relevant widgets and applications for their visitors. Wibya and Meebo are two of the hottest toolbars available, but do they cause your website to creep? Let’s see what Google Says:
*notes: Walyou.com was used to test Wibya and CafeMom.com to test Meebo.
Social Buttons and Speed
Social Sharing Buttons are a great tool for publishers to help make their content more viral via shortcut buttons configured to the user’s social media account. One press of a button and voila -more exposure for your content! AddThis and ShareThis lead the social button industry, but do they prolong browsing time for your visitors? Let’s look.
* http://www.cosmopolitan.com/ was tested for Sharethis and PerezHilton.com for AddThis.
Defer Parsing was impacted the most by Social Sharing buttons. AddThis showed 53KiB of parsing and ShareThis 31.3KiB. AddThis is obviously almost twice as fast as ShareThis, but both scored substantially lower than the other plugins in this study.
Keep Your Site Fast and Page Rank High
Faster is better, that’s the bottom line according to browse speed. It’s important for website owners to investigate what add-ons are slowing things down. But you can rest assured when adding these Google Race Winners: Wibya, the best toolbar for speed, Infolinks, the fastest In-Text ad network and ShareThis, the lesser of two “speed evils” for Social Buttons.
Investigate these results yourself by simply entering a URL into the search bar here: http://pagespeed.googlelabs.com. The “speed sinners” may surprise you!