Google has already announced “page speed” as a ranking factor, but this doesn’t mean it’s a whole new ranking factor. The significance of this lies in the fact that Google wants usability metrics to be used for a better page rank. Site speed surely is an important factor since a slow site can decrease the customer satisfaction. Many of the researches have revealed that improvement in site speed is quite effective to bringing out more conversions.
Google uses a particular equation to report the relative speed of website with each other which is:
y = 122.32e-0.31x
Here x is the total time taken to load your page in seconds and y (the result) is approximately the percent of pages that your page is faster than. If you get the load time from Google Webmaster Tools, you can definitely try this equation to estimate the speed of your site against the rest of the web. You can easily chart a graph with x axis showing the page load time and y axis with the percent of sites that the corresponding time is faster than. On experimenting with about 100 sites the following data points are derived:
- If the site loads in 5 seconds it is faster than approx 25% of the web
- If the site loads in 2.9 seconds it is faster than approx 50% of the web
- If the site loads in 1.7 seconds it is faster than approx 75% of the web
- If the site loads in 0.8 seconds it is faster than approx 94% of the web
Now you can compare to your competitors with many different ways. Web Page Test is a good web interface to check page speed and Show Slow has some of the most effective automated tracking tools that allow you to monitor pages continuously.
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