Have you ever considered how the loading time of your web pages might impact on your search engine rankings?

google-page-speed-serviceBoth Google and Yahoo! have commented on this issue recently, so it might be a good time to take a closer look at how long it takes your web pages to load.

Google’s position on the issue has always been that the time taken for a web page to load does not have any impact in their ranking algorithm until now! As part of their initiative to “Speed Up The Web“, Google have stated that page load times might possibly become a consideration in the future.

Google’s Matt Cutts has stated that, “We want the web to be faster and we want sites to load more quickly, so it’s very possible that, in the future, Google could consider rewarding fast loading websites, via improved search engine results.

Take a look at what Matt Cutts has to say about the topic below:

Another interesting development has come from Yahoo!, who recently filed a patent with regards to web page loading times.

Their Patent Abstract summary states the following:

“Methods and systems are provided that may be used to characterise in some manner the performance that a user may experience when accessing a web document.”

The patent application goes on to discuss establishing some kind of user experience information which could be used to rank search results. Obviously web page load time will play a big part in the user experience, so this would be a contributing factor.

The patent application states:

“For example, information relating to whether a user might abandon or wait for a web document to be displayed may be useful when establishing certain quality or relevance factors for the web document.”

As both Google and Yahoo! appear to be placing increased relevance on the issue of page load times, it might be a smart move to ensure that your website has been optimised to load as quickly as possible, ahead of any potential changes to the search engine algorithms. Your Web Site Designer should be able to help you with this.

Apart from helping to make your site more search engine friendly, any improvements in speed will definitely help to improve your sites appeal to your visitors as well as improving your Web Page Optimisation efforts.

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All of the major search engines use a wide range of highly developed algorithms to check the integrity of your website. Attempting to manipulate the search engine results, by using dubious techniques on your web pages, will almost certainly result in your site being banned!

The top 7 techniques to avoid at all costs are as follows:

  • Do not purchase links from paid for link sites or link farms.
  • Do not place hidden links are your website.
  • Do not set up links from known spam sites.
  • Do not stuff your meta tags or web page content with massive amounts of misleading or irrelevant keywords.
  • Do not attempt to place hidden keywords within your web page content, for example white text on a white background.
  • Do not copy content from another website or plagiarise existing content and claim as your own.
  • Do not create one set of web page content for your visitors and a separate set of content dedicated solely to search engines (Cloaking)

If you try and use any of these methods, you may experience improved search engine rankings in the short term. However you will eventually get found out and your site will suddenly disappear from the search engine results, without any warning.

In the long term it is far more sensible to compete on a level playing field and only use Professional SEO Techniques that are within the published editorial guidelines.

To learn more about search engine optimisation or for further information on our Link Building Service, please visit our website.

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More than 60% of the websites I review contain poorly written Title Tags. Many simply contain the company name or trading name of the website.

From a search engine perspective, your Title Tag is the most important Meta Tag and should contain the top two or three keyword phrases that you are targeting. Title Tags such as “Welcome to PetsRUs” or “The Acme Insurance Website” will not help your search engine rankings and will not produce high volumes of traffic to your site.

It is easy to achieve a high ranking for your trading name.

In most cases, search engines will list your website within the first few pages, when searched by your company name, especially if your domain name matches your trading name. That’s the easy bit. The more difficult challenge is to be found by users who are searching for the products or services you provide, using a more generic keyword search term, relevant to your business.

Including your company name within your Title Tag is a wasted opportunity.

Think about it, if a customer knows your company or brand name it is relatively easy for them to find you, not just via the internet but by more traditional methods such as Yellow Pages, offline advertising or even Directory Enquiries! So why waste valuable space promoting your company name within your Meta Tag?

As a guidline, your Title Tag should contain a maximum of ten individual words. Therefore do not waste this space, choose your keywords carefully and make sure that they are relevant to the page content.

Make sure your Title Tag includes your targeted keywords.

I recommend that you review all of your Title Tags and if necessary change them to include at least a couple of the top keywords you are targeting. You also need to ensure that each page of your website contains a unique Title Tag. Although simply creating a well written, search engine friendly Meta Tag is not sufficient to propel you to the first page of Google, it will make a difference and you should see some improvement in your search engine rankings over time.