It is hardly news that the average load time is one of the many factors that Google uses to determine how well your site will rank. But how much does it matter, really? If my recent experience is anything to go by, the answer is “very little”.
Over the last two months, I optimized this site to load almost 2x faster. After the optimization was complete, the amount of Google search traffic that it receives increased by a whopping 5 percent. Here are the specific numbers:
- 4.5 seconds.
- 58 832 visits.
- 2.2 seconds (-105%).
- 61 751 visits (+5%).
If I wasn’t deliberately looking for changes in my organic search traffic, I probably wouldn’t even had noticed! The upswing is so tiny it might as well be a random statistical aberration. In fact, there’s a good change that is all it is.
Either way, there is some value in this exercise – it provides an upper bound. If you speed up your site by 100%, you probably won’t see more than a 5% improvement in your search traffic. Underwhelming, that.
And a couple of charts for you: