Google’s recently announced that website loading speed was beginning to be incorporated into search engine ranking algorithm; Suddenly webmasters were faced with additional reasons to reconsider their web hosting options. While cost was a major factor during a recession; funds spent on search engine optimization, marketing and website design constitute the lion's share of most budgets. Jeopardizing these investments utilizing a slow oversold web host gives credence to the adage “penny wise and pound foolish”.
In a post on their blog, Google claims that they are passionate about speed and making the web faster. From their first hand view (Google bots are spiders that never sleep), Google is convinced that many website owners have come to share these same values! Afterall, a faster web is better for both users and businesses - faster pages lead to better user experience and improved conversions.
Though the search algorithm is a trade secret akin to the formula for a well known soft drink, Google does provide enough glimpses of the inner workings for a webmaster to make rational decisions to establish best practice methodology.
In order to utilize speed in search engine ranking, Google first needed to optimize the process to establish and obtain an accurate set of data metrics which included speed of a page as seen by real users: users network, device type and speed, geographic location, cache sizes, and a dozen other factors. Combined along with aggregate speed data for the web as seen by Google Analytics and shared by opted-in web publishers, Google derives a baseline.
How do I know if my site is fast enough?
The answer, of course, depends on the nature of the site, the content, and the type of interactions your users perform on the site.
Mobile internet is growing at an incredible rate and Google found mobile experience is about 1.5x slower than desktop experience which is a significant difference considering many sites are already ‘mobile-friendly’.
A Graph about page load speed should include web hosts
Once you've established that your website is adequately optimized, accounting for geographical location, and allowed for speed variance in the device you are measuring from (desktop or mobile), the logical assumption for a slow website page load is the web host.
As many variables factor into page load speeds, it would be unfair to just choose random domains for HostJury's very unscientific graph of web host speeds... so we are using the web host’s own homepages!
Testing any web host is easy using many of the free online tools. For our particular test of web host homepages, HostJury chose Pingdom Tools.