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How PageSpeed Actually Affects Your Google Rankings

Hi everyone,

I’d like to dispell any rumors that Google Pagespeed affects your website’s page rank. Google did make obscure statements about performance affecting rankings back in 2010, but I’d like to refer to a very well researched Moz Article on what performance characteristics Google actually uses in its algorithms: How Website Speed Actually Affects Search Ranking.

The conclusion of the article can be found about 75% of the way down:

Our data shows there is no correlation between “page load time” (either document complete or fully rendered) and ranking on Google’s search results page. This is true not only for generic searches (one or two keywords) but also for “long tail” searches (4 or 5 keywords) as well.

The article does go on to say that there is a much stronger correlation between TTFB (Time to First Byte) and your website’s search rankings:

However, our data shows there is a correlation between lower time-to-first-byte (TTFB) metrics and higher search engine rankings. Websites with servers and back-end infrastructure that could quickly deliver web content had a higher search ranking than those that were slower. This means that, despite conventional wisdom, it is back-end website performance and not front-end website performance that directly impacts a website’s search engine ranking.

We here at Webflow take performance seriously and have worked with the fastest CDN network to deliver the fastest website hosting possible for all webmasters and web designers. We’ve made TTFB the highest priority for the performance of our websites, and we’re not shy to make bold statements like this on our blog: The Fastest, Cheapest Hosting on the Internet.

We employ a variety of load testing tools, like Apache JMeter, and 3rd party tools like Loadster to ensure that our hosting infrastructure is operating at peak performance.

There are several advantages to using Webflow hosting that will give your webflow site a significant ranking boost.

  • The ability to serve imgur like traffic. That’s right. Your Webflow site shares the same CDN backbone as one of the most highly trafficed site in the world.
  • Sub 10ms TTFB - we’ve tested and verified this from locations all over the world
  • Your webflow site will never be down. You can check our status page for proof: http://status.webflow.com/ (Well, almost never. We only had 7.5 minutes of downtime in 2014 for our hosted sites)

CSS minification is definitely important, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s something that we’ll have to implement after we work on some higher priority items that will put a smile on your face. :slight_smile:

Lastly, Moz recommends looking into your site’s TTFB if you’re worried about rankings related to performance:

Website owners should explore ways to improve their TTFB. This includes using CDNs, optimizing your application code, optimizing database queries, and ensuring you have fast and responsive web servers.

Hope this helps!

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As a follow up to this post, I’d recommend users check out a site performance testing tool that takes TTLB into account, like:

This will give you and your clients a much better idea for how your site performs as it uses real-world metrics, as opposed to heuristics that you’ll find in PageSpeed

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A 30Mb Webflow hosted page gets a grade of 95, and my 1Mb landing page on my private server gets a 90…

brutal

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