John Mueller recently confirmed what we have been saying for several years: web performance (page load time) does not help, at the moment, the vast majority of websites to be ranked higher in the results of Google search, but can eventually penalize them in case of bad statistics. On the other hand, Google does not refrain from modifying the deal on this subject for some time and to take this point into account in a more precise and granular way …
John Mueller spoke a few days ago, during one of his traditional hangouts largely devoted to SEO, the field of webperf, or more generally, the loading time of pages, as indicated on the site SERoundtable. The question he was asked was this: You always said that when it comes to the speed of a site, you only see it in a negative aspect, only impacting the ranking of sites tru00e8s tru00e8s slow (Editor’s note: but not positively the sites which improve this point). Is it just something said by SEO or is it true and will there be a sequel in time?
And John Mueller’s answer was: I think it still is, most of the time. This was essentially the case when we launched speed as a ranking factor a few years ago. We have tried to differentiate normal speed sites from really slow sites. I imagine that over time, especially with mobile sites, we might find a more granular approach. But it still is, and if you’re setting milliseconds, it’s probably not the best use of your time if you only care about SEO. () Some fast tru00e8s tru00e8s sites can however receive a boost in terms of ranking, because if we penalize some, others benefit.
So let’s translate John Mueller’s words by adding our comments in italics:
- Trying to improve the web perf of a site only for SEO is a waste of time (the term SEO so much understood here in the sense of classification in the SERP because it is clear that the webperf plays in the quality of the crawl of the site).
- Since the start, only the slow sites are negatively impacted from the start (it’s true, we saw it).
- A small fringe of sites (with an identical percentage those that are penalized for their slowness) can receive a boost if they are fast.
- The vast majority of websites are not affected by this criteria because they are neither in one case (slow) nor in the other (fast sites).
- In the future, things could change the future and the fact that a site improves its loading times is a real criterion of relevance, much more granular, with visible weight in the algorithm of the engine (why not, but in our opinion this will never be a major criterion because the loading time of the pages is not in direct relation to the relevance of a content and a response to a search intention. Can be a criteria accompanying in the algorithm).
In any case, this confirms what we have been saying for years: web performance is essential for the internet user, essential for crawling, but almost ineffective for ranking pages in search engine results for most of the Site ( At Ultimate SEO, our days are punctuated by the reactions of our customers or people who tell us: it’s weird, I improved my loading times, but I saw no effect in the SERP and on my traffic. Yes, that’s the current situation. But the first two reasons (Internet user and crawl) are more than enough for you to take a close look at it (trust). do not forget it !