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SE Ranking Problem - Slow Server

Posted on 2.12.2008

I received a note from a reader yesterday afternoon inquiring about why her site was not ranking. As you can imagine we receive many emails like this each day and periodically I like to look under the hood an see what's going on. As you can imagine, not ranking (at least anywhere notable) is a common problem so several posts this week will address the issue of why your site may not be ranking well.

The result for this website? All in all it was a complete disaster. The code was chock full of third party javascript (thanks widget trend) and iframes, there was little proprietary content on the site itself, the meta information was a mess, and it had no inbound links.  We'll discuss those issues later but what stood out the most for this site (at least to me) was that the site loaded too slow. Is that a problem? You bet. Here's why.

While search engines are not going to penalize sites that are on a slow server, there are indirect consequences. When search engine spiders notice that a site is unable to handle their request for information, they will simply leave and go elsewhere. The indirect consequence is that the slow loading site will not be completely crawled and will have fewer pages in the search engine indices.

I encourage all WM readers to test the performance of their websites (and web pages), mainly in terms of load times. (a Website Magazine advertiser) has a helpful resource to check the performance and load time of websites.


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