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PageSpeed: main page vs article pages

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by well oiled, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. well oiled

    well oiled Newbie

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    Since google tends to put more and more weight on page loading time in their ranking algorithm, I decided to (finally!!) optimize my site regarding loading time and general performance. I run a news site, with quite a dense and heavy main page, and relative light article pages.

    First PageSpeed results were no good: 64/100 for the main page.
    After modifications, I now get 80/100 on the main page. Certainly not state of the art, but already an improvement.
    The good news: article pages went up to 95/100. (I didn't test them before I started tweaking, but I can hardly imagine it was that good)

    Now the main question:
    Do I need to put more effort in tweaking the main page, while most google related traffic lands directly on one of the article pages, which have a score of 95?
    In other words: does google takes each separate page (or article) performance into account to rank it, or is it the main page that counts for the whole site?
     
  2. Endire

    Endire Elite Member Premium Member

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    Great question well_oiled,

    Google looks at all pages of a site as individual documents. So for example when a user types a query, Google doesn't return your home page from its index if there is a sub-page that is more relevant to the user's query. Although I have no concrete evidence on this, since ranking factors like PageRank are assigned on a page by page basis, it would make sense that serving pages that load fast or slow would be determined on this basis as well.

    All that said, page speed is a very small factor out of all the factors used to rank a site. Check out what Matt Cutts has to say on the topic,

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/site-speed/

    Best,

    Shawn
     
  3. cgimaster

    cgimaster Power Member

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    How about looking at it from a different perspective, for instance if you have pages that take ages to load your users may ended up growing tired of it causing you to lose views, clicks, retention and whatever else you may have there for them.

    On the other hand its not so hard to optimize a website to gain speed specially if you use a CMS(WordPress and similar) which have plugins for cache options and stuff you can bring your site pages speed up by A LOT and gain more users with it.

    Also keep in mind that if your site is meant to world wide visits depending on the user location speed may and will be an issue and having such optimizations would only help you.
     
  4. well oiled

    well oiled Newbie

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    Thanks!

    I wonder how big or small the factor of pagespeed is nowadays. I understood Google is putting more and more weight on it, as the focus is more on user experience.

    The main page is mostly getting returning visitors.
    Article pages get search engine traffic.

    Anyway, because of the type of site (news site, joomla based) it's hard to get a super fast loading main page, without compromising on sexy and heavy content (article sliders, facebook feeds, twitter feeds, external content in general, scaled images, ...).

    Quick wins through plugins are already in place and i think page speed of 80 is acceptable for my main page. If I want to make it faster, I will have to put a lot of effort in it, and I wonder if it's worth it. As said, my article pages, which I want to have good rank, have a good pagespeed score.
     
  5. cgimaster

    cgimaster Power Member

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    You can use this site http://gtmetrix.com/ to test your page speed and see what you can improve on it.
     
  6. Jackson Soo

    Jackson Soo Junior Member

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    Each page will rank individually in Google on it's own merits, not the strength of the home page. If you can optimize each page to load fast, that would be better.