The Chicken or The Egg?
PageSpeed or Social Proof?
If you’ve read my blog before you know I talk A LOT about the impact that poor hosting, too many plugins, and too many dynamic widgets can have on page load speeds….
That’s why it was particularly interesting to hear the head of Google’s WebSpam (and thus SEO) team Matt Cutts discuss whether we need to get rid of our incredibly slow loading Facebook tools.
I want to add some thoughts to this but lets watch it first…
It is apparent that Matt Cutts understands the importance of social proof and at least a limited usage of the facebook dynamic widgets.
It’s important to note that what Matt did NOT say was to install every dynamic widget in the book… meaning only use the one or two that provide YOUR SITE the most leverage…. installing 2 FB widgets, a twitter widget, a networked blogs widget and a Google friend connect widget is just asking for trouble! …. Perhaps not SEO trouble, but slow site trouble that annoys and turns off readers and keeps them from coming back.
Always remember that the reason Page Speed is a factor of SEO is simply because we humans HATE slow loading sites. Optimize your site for your reader – including speed factors – for the best overall performance.
Also, remember that poor hosting (I highly recommend NameCheap & LiquidWeb – or come host with me!) and too many plugins (WP Core team says no more than 10-12, but most social sites are “tight” on 30 well-optimized plugins, more than that is a strain on the server) are other easy ways to solve factors that often play a huge role in page speed.
Thanks to Matt for shedding some clear, insightful, objective light on something that stresses a lot of us out!
What are your thoughts on slow loading sites? Have you tested yours recently? The BEST testing tool for evaluating the true user-perceived loadtime is using a Filmstrip View, which you can learn more about here. Setting up the W3 Total Cache plugin correctly and eventually adding Cloudflare and/or a CDN are two ways to greatly improve your site speed once your hosting and plugin count is solved.
~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing
Post originally published July 12th, 2011 and updated July 6th 2014.