Though it’s unrealistic to expect website uptime of 100%, it is important to maintain your uptime for your users. With too much downtime, Google can penalize your website and make it that much harder to rank in search results. Likewise, website speed not only affects your ranking, but can turn visitors away before they ever make it to your homepage. After all, if you’ve spent hours on layout, content creation, and search engine optimization, what’s the point of it all going to waste if people can’t reach your site?
So what is Google’s opinion on the matter?
In the video below, the head of Google’s Webspam team Matt Cutts explains how website speeds affect your Google ranking.
“If a site takes so long to load that we can’t even fetch it, then that will affect your rankings because your site is timing out,” Cutts said. “If it takes one second vs two seconds, it makes no difference in Google rankings. Google CEO Larry Page wants the web to be really fast, almost as fast as a magazine. Chrome was built with that philosophy.”
Google’s belief is that if your website is fast then people will be happy to stay longer on your site and visit more often. Though small variations won’t affect search engine ranking, it can make a huge impact on your users. Google itself performed a test that revealed a slowdown of even half a second can result in a 20% drop in traffic.
Every company experiences downtime and slow load times, even Google
On August 16th, 2013, Google.com went down for just about 5 minutes, between 6:52 and 6:57 p.m. EST. This five minute outage caused a 40% drop in global internet traffic, according to tracking by GoSquared.
The search engine is also not immune to slow connection speeds. Recent research has found that Google is one of the slowest loading search engines on mobile devices. The tests were run using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and the results showed a low performance score of 53/100 for mobile, compared to Yahoo which scored 95/100.
Downtime also equals lost revenue. Just three days after Google went down, Amazon went down for about 30 minutes. During this period the company lost $66,240 per minute, ultimately costing them about $2 million. To help protect yourself against lost customers and revenue, your website should be operational over 99% of the time.
Solutions to increase your uptime and website speed?
Even though Google might not penalize you for 24 hours of downtime or for slow load speeds, your customers will sure notice. Uptrends can help you maximize your uptime so you can get the most out of your website, and your customers can too. We also offer a free Full Page Check tool to easily test your website for performance and see where things might be getting slowed down. If you’d like you can try our 30 day free trial to take full advantage of all of our tools!
Still find that your website is loading slow and you’re not sure what to do? Take a look at our other post about how to optimize website speed. You can also keep an eye out for our upcoming list of ways to improve website performance.