Home – New Forums Tech talk Jump in rankings from few changes

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  • #990589
    TwoTreesMarketing
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    Hey guys,

    Nothing to sell just want to offer some value to everyone.

    No links included, you will have to google the tools to use-they are all free

    People possibly already know of this method, others will have heard of it but not done anything with it so perhaps this will be a shot in the arm to remember to get it done!

    We all know that higher rankings in search engine means more traffic-its simple statistics of clicks

    Did you know that site speed is a basis for your rankings?
    Simply by improving your speed, you can rank higher for terms

    We added our site to a free service recently and some keywords jumped from page 2 to 1 overnight (No affiliation to this service, they don’t even run a program)

    Some new keywords jumped 250+ places!

    This is due to search engines giving priority to good user experience-a slow loading site might be a bad experience for a reader, no matter how good your content

    There are a heap of free tools to test your site speed

    I used pingdom, have a search and put in your site address

    I would advise checking your home page and core articles etc
    (We had a large article that took almost 10x loading time!)

    If you already have a nice speed (3secs or faster) you may not be interested in this, but if it improves the speed then fantastic

    Amazon ran a test and for every second their site loaded slower, their customers left

    They calculated they lost $1.6 billion dollars per second their site loaded slower!
    People would just leave, even after 3-5 sec loading!

    So check your speed

    Then search for a free CDN provider

    We use cloudflare, i’m very happy with them and their customer service, which is why I want to promote them a little, and also tell you how well it worked for us

    A CDN is a content delivery network

    In basic terms they make copies of your site on local servers around the world

    This way, someone viewing your site from around the world gets a much quicker loading version of your site

    I wont go into full details, but its very simple
    You register
    You give the info they ask for

    Wait an hour and check your site speed

    Wait 24 hours and check again

    Now check your rankings

    DISCLAIMER:
    Some people have complained of slightly slower etc or some issues
    With billions of people around the world, chances of it working perfectly, like anything, are slim
    But what do you have to lose to try?
    It takes max 15 minutes to set up, you don’t like it you flick a switch and it turns back to normal

    Because it saves a version of your site each time, when you do release new content, either clear the cache at cloudflare, or pause the service, then unpause after the content is live

    It should show your latest content

    Its totally free for the service we used to get those bumps in rankings, we also saw 11% more traffic from some keywords, simply by this improvement

    Hope this helps, you guys get to try it out and see the results

    We recently upgraded to a higher package to cope with a large volume of traffic we had for the weekend (You can upgrade or downgrade at any point) and we even saw a jump again for some new terms

    #1177729
    Aidan
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    Excellent stuff but how can you be certain it was the CDN that caused the change? Anything changing in 24 hours is highly suspect as to the cause, it could just as easily have been an algorithm update/index refresh/something your competitors did etc

    (Usually when we experiment with ranking factors we take care to eliminate other variables so we can be fairly confident the result is from the experiment)

    Was your site really slow before the change?

    #1177730
    TwoTreesMarketing
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    Aidan, post: 206930 wrote:
    Excellent stuff but how can you be certain it was the CDN that caused the change? Anything changing in 24 hours is highly suspect as to the cause, it could just as easily have been an algorithm update/index refresh/something your competitors did etc

    (Usually when we experiment with ranking factors we take care to eliminate other variables so we can be fairly confident the result is from the experiment)

    Was your site really slow before the change?

    Hey Aiden,

    Thanks fro checking it out and the reply!

    We tested it both on and off and saw it move around each time
    (With the cdn for a few days and then off again and after they moved each time it stabilised)

    The site speed was around 4-6 secs for some pages before, so we hadn’t really bothered with it
    Our rankings had sat around the same point for a while (Other then a few blog comments etc there was no new links, and we check for mentions or incoming links often)

    We bumped it up to a 1.07 sec load time and just saw better rankings again

    Its often not utilised because it seems so simple, but you can almost always see an improvement in a short period.

    I know its not a huge jump in rankings, but once you start to go from page 2 to 1 for terms, the work and labor involved can be quite high, so was very pleased with such a jump from very little work!

    Each position is more traffic so im willing to use what ever we can!

    Daniel

    #1177731
    TwoTreesMarketing
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    chaase, post: 206949 wrote:
    I am always nervous about free services on the web, but I also agree how a CDN improves rankings.

    I have chosen to use MaxCDN for my three sites and all perform exceptionally well.

    I would also suggest running sites through https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.twotreesmarketing.com%2F after all we may as well set our sites up how Google want them for best results.

    Another good one is http://www.webpagetest.org/ A significant item to increasing speed is reducing the number of calls on the server ie you do not want a large waterfall.

    Totally agree Chaase

    You never know what you might get sometimes! Especially if you don’t have a heap of experience, sometimes its best to play it safe

    Couldn’t agree more, there are so many small tweaks you can do to improve the speed and the users experience, it only matters that you take the 1st step.

    A lot of the time with SEO, Marketing, etc etc it can be overwhelming how much there is to do
    I know my to-do list expands each day, even when i’m working 12 hours!

    The trick is to get even small improvements, it will all add up

    You can also look at caching, removing bloated code, reducing image size etc, and extra plugins or apps that may be slowing down load time

    Daniel

    #1177732
    John Romaine
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    Content delivery networks are a great solution for those operating on a global scale, however I’m not so sure about soloists here on FS. At a guess I’d say most small business owners might be operating either locally or nationally, within Australia – and not overseas. Of course in saying that, I’m sure there might be a few, in which case a CDN would certainly be something to consider.

    For small business owners focusing on the local market – just be sure to check this before you make the investment.

    In terms of speed and performance, most small business owners can usually get away with decent hosting, good site structure and framework, and the reduction of unnecessary overheads such as large images and multimedia rich files that cause latency. They might even want to consider other options such as W3Cache and Smushit for images. (as well as additional plugins that minimise CSS and Javascript) That is of course for those running WordPress.

    These are all things that small business owners should be advised upon before jumping into building a new site, or looking at improving their existing one.

    Even though Google have openly admitted that they look at site speed as part of a ranking factor, in my experience it still doesn’t hold as much weight as many other factors (such as inbound links)

    I’ve seen a lot of sites ranking very well that have terrible site speed, so whilst it might make marginal improvements, don’t bank on hitting the first page in Google because your pages now take 1 second to load and not 3.

    #1177733
    TwoTreesMarketing
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    John Romaine, post: 207040 wrote:
    Content delivery networks are a great solution for those operating on a global scale, however I’m not so sure about soloists here on FS. At a guess I’d say most small business owners might be operating either locally or nationally, within Australia – and not overseas. Of course in saying that, I’m sure there might be a few, in which case a CDN would certainly be something to consider.

    For small business owners focusing on the local market – just be sure to check this before you make the investment.

    In terms of speed and performance, most small business owners can usually get away with decent hosting, good site structure and framework, and the reduction of unnecessary overheads such as large images and multimedia rich files that cause latency. They might even want to consider other options such as W3Cache and Smushit for images. (as well as additional plugins that minimise CSS and Javascript) That is of course for those running WordPress.

    These are all things that small business owners should be advised upon before jumping into building a new site, or looking at improving their existing one.

    Even though Google have openly admitted that they look at site speed as part of a ranking factor, in my experience it still doesn’t hold as much weight as many other factors (such as inbound links)

    I’ve seen a lot of sites ranking very well that have terrible site speed, so whilst it might make marginal improvements, don’t bank on hitting the first page in Google because your pages now take 1 second to load and not 3.

    There’s a lot of truth in what your saying john and I appreciate the reply

    Simple factor is that less and less inbound links are being shared. You look at the majority of large sites now, even kissmetrics and the like and you will find blackhat links hidden away behind articles etc

    For the volume of work to increase the rankings by 1 link, even via whitehat, you might be talking 4 hours for content creation, 2 hours of designer work to make it look good, and then 5 hours of outreach to build links.

    In our experience, 5% is an average return on email outreach linkbuilding, and that’s with good connections and hoping the quality is great.

    If you were to then try for 1 or 2 links (Roughly equivalent to the jump from the CDN) you would be looking at around 40+ emails sent

    For such a small and free change, to get similar improvements to perhaps 7 hours work, seems silly to skip.

    Has anyone else noticed issues with w3 cache? Unless your on a high end host it seems the majority are boycotting the use (Godaddy etc) for some reason

    I totally agree that good site architecture is paramount, but the idea here is the minimum effective dose for results.

    If I can produce similar results for little time and effort with zero cost, its a shame to skip.

    Obviously you would want to do it all really!

    We market internationally, but we saw our rankings for NZ rise, simply from the install.

    #1177734
    John Romaine
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    Hey mate (Sorry I don’t know your name, so apologies)

    I’m not trying to contradict what you’re saying – of course site speed matters, and I always factor it into what I do for my own clients.

    If you want to compare input and effort VS results, then there’s going to be a considerable difference.

    X amount of hours will see you hitting your maximum threshold in terms of site speed, then you’re at a performance ceiling. You can only do so much.

    X+X+X+X (and so on) amount of hours will see continual improvements in the SERPS, until of course you hit first spot across the board (or close to it) ..which is a good problem to have.

    Ideally, small business owners should be doing all of these things we’ve spoken about (which always involves a lot of man hours and hard work).

    #1177735
    JohnW
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    TwoTreesMarketing, post: 206907 wrote:
    Hey guys,
    Did you know that site speed is a basis for your rankings?

    Simply by improving your speed, you can rank higher for terms
    Hi,
    I’ve not seen anything from Google to indicate it uses site load speed in its ranking algorithm.

    Maybe I missed something. Can you please provide a Google reference for your claim?

    To my knowledge G does not currently use load speed in its ranking EXCEPT to demote extremely slow sites. The last comment I read from Google about this was that about 1% of websites may be impacted by this slow site load speed penalty.

    Google has stated that it may use load speed as a ranking factor in future but I have not read anything to indicate that this has been implemented yet.

    I suspect SEs will have problems using load speed as a major algorithm ranking factor in the near future. For a start, that would relegate most Word Press sites to never-never-land in the ranking results.

    There is no doubt that page load speed is of critical important from a usability point of view.

    That said, there are so many factors involved in load speed and a CDN only addresses a few of them.

    For small business websites I would have thought there are many other factors that are likely to negatively impact on load speed and usability than CDN can rectify.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1177736
    John Romaine
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    JohnW, post: 207248 wrote:
    Hi,
    I’ve not seen anything from Google to indicate it uses site load speed in its ranking algorithm.

    2010.

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au/2010/04/using-site-speed-in-web-search-ranking.html

    #1177737
    JohnW
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    John Romaine, post: 207249 wrote:
    2010.

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au/2010/04/using-site-speed-in-web-search-ranking.html
    Thank you John R for quoting the reference to support what I said on the previous page.

    This 2010 Google reference still seems to be the most current.

    “While site speed is a new signal, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point. We launched this change a few weeks back after rigorous testing. If you haven’t seen much change to your site rankings, then this site speed change possibly did not impact your site.”

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1177738
    JohnW
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    chaase, post: 207261 wrote:
    From the horses mouth Aug 2013 http://www.webpronews.com/today-on-the-matt-cutts-show-page-speed-as-a-ranking-factor-2013-08
    Hi Chaase,
    You have not cited a reference to confirm that Google uses load speed as a positive signal in its ranking algoritm.

    In your reference, Cutts actually says:

    “If your site is really, really slow, we’ve said that we do use page speed in our rankings. And so all of the things being equal, yes, a site can rank lower.”

    If you follow Cutts’ comments over time you will find that he is also on record as saying that maybe 1% of sites could be affected by this slow load speed penalty.

    Cutts does NOT say that Google uses load speed as a postitive part of its ranking algorithm.

    This is exactly what I’ve said above. If you can cite any Google reference to the contrary, I’d love to read it.

    Let’s forget Google’s ranking algorithm for the moment…

    Load speed is critical to the user experience.

    What I would like to hear are your comments on load speed that may be impacted by CDN vs other load speed attributes like bandwidth and the number of file requests.

    I would have thought that the impact of CDN on load speed for small business websites would be very small compared to the other issues.

    Do you have any relevant information to share with us on these issues?

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1177739
    JohnW
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    chaase, post: 207850 wrote:
    It never ceases to amaze me the self-appointed experts who will not listen to other peoples views without belligerently challenging every piece of information being shared…

    Google gives some very good insights on what they are expecting.

    https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=www.swimmingpoolwarehouse.com.au%2F

    https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.serpent-dove.com.au%2F&tab=mobile

    Remember there is more than one way to skin a cat and differing opinions on what works. A bit of research on SEO Roundtable, Moz etc details the relationship between speed and ranking. And whilst Cutts is not around Muellers videos further detail expectations.

    Cheers
    Bruce
    Hi Bruce,
    I should explain. I’ve been a practicing Internet marketer and SEO since 1994. I subscribe to around 14 daily update services related my profession. I don’t claim to be the best but it will be hard to find one who’s been around longer or who studies harder. :)

    Let’s be clear on what I’ve said – load speed is very important as a usability factor.

    To focus only on the impact of load speed on Google’s ranking…

    When I see a ranking algorithm factor that’s escaped my net, I want to know about it. I also know that there is a lot of misundertood and misquoted information cited. That’s why I ask for sources and references.

    I was disappointed to find that I could not find one reference from your long list that contradicted what I said about Google, load speed and ranking, viz.:

    “Google has stated that it may use load speed as a ranking factor in future but I have not read anything to indicate that this has been implemented yet.”

    As to CDNs and load speed…

    Here is an hour long video from another page on the Google Developer’s site:

    PageSpeed Module

    “PageSpeed can be deployed and customized for individual web sites, as well as being used by large hosting providers and CDNs to help their users improve performance of their sites, lower the latency of their pages, and decrease bandwidth usage.”

    If folk watch this long video from Google about site load speed they will see that it is a very complex, multi-factorial issue and that load speed elements need to be addressed on a CDN as much as any other hosting service.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1177740
    bb1
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    chaase, post: 207850 wrote:
    John, I am not going to waste my time answering you questions

    I think that means “i dont know the answer”

    #1177741
    JohnW
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    bb1, post: 207886 wrote:
    I think that means “i dont know the answer”
    Hi Bert,
    I was not having a shot at Bruce.

    Truth is sorting out old vs new and wheat vs chaff in SEO is very, very, very difficult. Bruce may have unearthed a new ranking element that I’d missed, hence my request for references.

    I do know there is a lot of SEO discussion and Google activity around the load speed of mobile sites at present. Bruce may have seen this discussion and assumed it applied web-wide.

    Google started sending out warnings about slow loading mobile sites via Webmaster Tools in Jan 15.

    At the moment the SEO world is in hot discussion about what this means and what impact it is likely to have, if it is implemented.

    So far Google’s comments seem to be:

    • Specifically related to mobile sites
    • As much related to mobile site usability issues as load speed
    • Based on using certain technical evaluations to predict load speed

    I’ve seen examples of these warnings but have not seen any where load speed itself has been referenced as the generator of a warning email.

    Google is vitally interested in the mobile web and it appears to be having a lot of difficulty clawing its way into it. I wonder however, whether this recent burst of mobile web activities and warnings will do the job?

    It seems to me that when G gets into issues that require in-put from other people, the wheels start to come loose if not fall off the cart.

    • Look at all the problems with Google Place/Business (and the other names they’ve given it). How many more re-incarnations do they want before they let it die?
    • Schema inclusions. How long have these been pushed and how many sites actually use them?
    • The “author” tag. Google has given up on this one.
    • Dare I add its attempted foray into social media, Google Plus?

    Google’s problems with mobile load speed seem to include:

    • Few website owners are aware of Webmaster Tools and the warnings G sends via it.
    • If they recieve them, what to do about the warnings?
    • Budget website production and self-publishing sites don’t provide solutions (if any are needed).
    • G’s warnings seem to be inconsistent across the same website.
    • G. does not actually use a site’s real load speed in the process…
    • …because there is no such thing as a “real load speed” that G can use as a ranking parameter.

    If the world does not adopt usage of a signal that Google wants to implement in its ranking algorithm then the sites that are most likely to use it are the spammers and scammers. That is bound to kill use of the attribute in the Google algorithm.

    Just, MHO.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1177742
    bb1
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    chaase, post: 212296 wrote:
    Out of curiosity is your site responsive?

    Not mobile-friendly

    Page appears not mobile-friendly

    ✕ Text too small to read
    ✕ Links too close together
    ✕ Mobile viewport not set
    ✕ Content wider than screen

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