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Google warns of 20 per cent drop in traffic

Article date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 10:18 GMT

Google warns of 20 per cent drop in traffic

Research from search giant Google proves that a slow website results in a dramatic fall in traffic. Google is so confident of this that speed is now included in the quality score of advertisers - which means slow websites cost you more.

Google's research into the delivery of search results reveals that a page loading half a second slower than another will experience a 20 per cent drop in traffic. In all its tests around this subject the clear delineating factor regarding loss of traffic is speed of website. Vice president of search products and user experience Marissa Mayer said "users really respond to speed."

Within Google AdWords, keywords are now given a score based on the load time of landing pages. This means that you could pay more than your competitor but rank below them in the sponsored listings. The search engine reports that one of the key factors in improving speed is web hosting.

"Google has taken action because a half second delay kills user satisfaction," says Lawrence Jones, MD of UKFast, four time winner of the ISPA Best Hosting Award. "It's hard spending a fortune on your PPC and losing traffic to your competition but imagine discovering that they are paying less than you are for the privilege."

Online retailer Amazon.com produced similar research when focusing on customer experience. In A/B tests, they tried delaying the page in increments of 100 milliseconds and found that even very small delays would result in substantial and costly drops in revenue.

"This is terrible news for businesses who do not take their hosting seriously," says Jones. "With Google now rewarding sites on faster networks, any business residing on a shared platform or hosting away from the hub of the internet will suffer. There has never been a bigger need for speed!"

For more information please contact Jonathan Bowers on 0844 5776 3985


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