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Two New Ways to Check Google Site Speed

Posted on August 24, 2010 by Zach

Search Engine Round Table  had a interesting post about two of best ways to check Google’s factors for site speed. Site Speed recently became one of the many ranking factors for Google, and should be something that webmasters are aware of when optimizing their websites. The first way to check Google's factors for site speed is the site performance section under Labs in Google Webmaster Tools.

Google Webmaster Tools

The data displayed in this section is an aggregate of all of the Google Toolbar Data for how long it takes actual users to download pages on your site. This is an important factor, but it does have some shortcomings. First, this data is only gathered from people that have the Google Toolbar installed. If a user does not have the bar installed then Google is not able to gather their data. Because of this, the number is only a sampling of all of the people browsing your site. I know what you are going to ask, "If it is only a small sample, then why should I care about it." Always remember, if it is important enough for Google to report, then it is important enough for you to review.

The other option for reviewing site speed is also in Google Webmaster Tools, but under the Diagnostics section and then Crawl stats.

Google Webmaster Tools

This section displays crawl stats for Googlebot on your website. What it specifically gathers is how many pages are crawled per day, how much data is downloaded per day, and how long it takes for them to download a page. This data is almost more important in terms of site speed factors because it lets you know how your site's performance is affecting Googlebot. If it takes Googlebot a long time to download pages on your website it will take them longer to index your site, and in turn they will crawl less pages. We all know that crawling less pages is never something we want Google to do, so making your site faster for Googlebot will benefit you in the long run.

Since our team started to focus on site speed and website performance we have been watching these two areas very closely. An improvement in site speed has definitely yielded an increase in pages crawled per day, as well as a reduction in time it takes to download a page by Googlebot. Both of these are critical metrics in that should be tracked in Google Webmaster Tools.


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