Loading TurtlePage load time, or the time it takes for all elements of a webpage to fully load in a browser, always seems to surface in discussions about SEO. Namely, there is debate over whether relative page load time matters when it comes to SEO efforts. Matt Cutts of Google has even spoken on the subject recently, saying that excessive scripts on a page can be the straw that pushes and already slow site over the edge and down further in SERP rankings. So in short, you should consider the answer as yes; page load time does matter.

How Important is Page Load Time?

With Matt Cutts confirming that page load time is indeed a factor in ranking a site, the question then turns to how important.  It’s apparent that while page load speed is collected and measured as part of Page Rank, (along with over 200 other variables), it is reasonable to suggest that this variable is a low priority or low/moderate variable.  (The exception is, of course, if the slow loads slowly that it prevents Google from crawling the site.) Sites that are filled with unnecessary code, distracting media and complicated navigation, will not only result in reduced rankings, but will also the overall visitor satisfaction level.

How to Measure and Speed Up Your Site

Like so many things on the web, there can be a multitude of factors involved when it comes to the time it takes for a web page to load. Potential problem areas include badly formatted or inefficient coding, faulty JavaScript, excessive use of images/media, and the amount of traffic attempting to access a site at a given time.  It is important to note that Google will generally determine the speed of your site by the time “it” takes its assets to access your full webpage.

Some tools to use in researching and improving your load times are:

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