Page speed factors Google care about

4 November 2016

It’s definitely a good idea to achieve traffic by ways of promoting your site organically and virally, be it via Twitter, Facebook or YouTube etc. However you should not ignore the worth of a good search engine ranking, a site optimised for search engines will always outperform one that is not.

This being said, it’s not just about earning visitors through social media and search engines, what matter now is holding on to them and potentially turning them in to customers. There is more than one thing to keep in mind when it comes to this and one such factor would be the loading time of your site.

Though it might not be the governing factor when it comes to site traffic, we all know most web users have little patience so to be blunt, if your site takes time to load; you are going to lose traffic to it.

Below are page speed factors for you to consider that Google cares about:

Server response time

Server response time should be under 200ms.

There are several factors than can potentially slow down the response of the server and you will have to consider them all, they are: slow database queries, slow routing, slow application logic, resource CPU starvation, memory starvation, libraries or frameworks.

Render-Blocking JavaScript

This occurs when there is a blocking JavaScript file in the above-the-fold area of the site. Prior to rendering a webpage the browser has to parse the HTML to build the DOM tree and whenever a script is encountered during the process it has to halt the process and execute the script before continuing.

Try to avoid the use of blocking JavaScript or at least minimise the use, in particular externally generated ones. In some cases scripts required to render page content can be inlined but be warned too much inlined script will be counterproductive.

You should avoid and minimize the use of blocking JavaScript, especially external scripts that must be fetched before they can be executed. Scripts that are necessary to render page content can be inlined to avoid extra network requests

CSS Delivery

Similar to the JavaScript above, this occurs when a blocking external stylesheet is in the above-the-fold area which stops the browser rendering content until it has downloaded and processed the stylesheet(s).

Again like the scripts, smaller CSS can be inserted as inline code directly in to the HTML and too much inline content would start to be a bad thing.

If you do have a fairly large CSS file, identifying and using the CSS only necessary for the rendering of the above-fold-content as inline code and then suspend loading the remaining style until after the above-the-fold content is recommended.

Optimise your images

A simple but very effective way of reducing the page load speed is to make sure your images are optimised the best they can be. Images can be optimised with photo editing software and properly formatting and compressing images can save many bytes of data.

The above-the-fold content – Reduce its size

This is when additional network round trips are necessary to render the above-the-fold-content.

To avoid this restrict the size of the data (images, CSS, HTML markup, JavaScript) that is needed to render the above-the-fold content of your page

Landing Page Redirects – Avoid these

Redirects cause an extra HTTP request response cycle and will hold up page rendering. Best case scenario each redirect will only add a only 1 roundtrip and in the worst it could end up result in multiple trips.

Leverage Browser Caching

This occurs when the server doesn’t include caching headers or only specifies caching resources for short time. Obtaining resources over the network is slow and expensive and the download could end up requiring multiple roundtrips to and from the client and the server.

It can help to set a maximum age or an expiry date in the HTTP headers for the static resources to instruct the browser to load previously downloaded resources from local disk rather than over the network.

It is recommend dictating a minimum cache time of one week and preferably up to one year for static assets, or assets that change rarely.

Plugins – Avoid them

Plugins are something that helps your browser process particular types of web content, such as Java and flash but plugins are also the primary cause of crashes, hanging and security issue in web browser that support them and due to this most browsers now restrict them.

If you’re looking to update your website or need any SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) on your current site then please give us a call today on 0115 9214797 or email us at where one of our staff will be more than happy to help.