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Google launches Page Speed Online

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Friday April 1, 2011 )

Google has just unveiled a handy tool that examines web pages and makes suggestions as to how their load speed can be improved.

As technology evolves to give us faster Internet access, some site owners take advantage of the bigger bandwidth to bog down their sites with more features, sometimes rendering them as slow as they were back in the days when dial up access over 28.8k modems was the norm. The advantage is lost and we’re back to the World Wide Wait.

Around a year ago, Google announced that site speed had become a Google ranking factor. While not as important as some signals in its ranking algorithm, I assume all other aspects being equal between two sites, the faster loading site may get a little more Google love.

Google says reducing page load times can reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates. What they didn’t mention is that it also means googlebot (Google’s search engine spider) has to spend less time indexing a site. I’m not sure why they glossed over that as it’s a good point. It’s not only to Google’s advantage to have its robot spending less time in grabbing data from a page, but the less time it spends on one page, the more time it has for others on a site – so it’s in a site owner’s interest from in that respect as well.

To help encourage webmasters to make their pages load faster, earlier today Google announced it had launched a new tool called Page Speed Online. It analyzes the performance of web pages and gives some suggestions for making them load faster.

You can view Page Speed Online here. Some site owners may find the advice a little over their heads as it does get a little techy with some suggestions, so if you’re looking for some basic general advice that can shave a few more seconds off load times, check out my tips on improving page load speed.


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