Why SEO & Speed Matter
March 23, 2018 | Category: SEO
Our modern-day use of the internet is all about speed. This simple truth becomes more and more apparent with every Google algorithm update, every Facebook message, and even every Instagram post. SEO itself is an example of how important speed is. The message is clear: We want what we want, and we want it now.
You may think back to visiting the library almost daily in school to gather sources for your essay, or perhaps not being able to remember the name of that actor from that movie and never ever finding out who it was. Now, you may still occasionally visit the library, but it’s really only because they have free wifi. And that actor now has an IMDB page listing everything from his life’s work to his favourite kind of gourmet grilled cheese. Better yet, you can find all this information in a matter of minutes with one Google search.
Google is one of the most massive and integral entities on the web. Getting people what they want as quickly as they want it is among Google’s big challenges, but for Google, it is also their great strength. If you take a look below the search bar after you run a Google search, you should see something along the lines of “About 20,900,000 results (0.40 seconds)”. So 0.4 seconds is all it takes for Google to bring me all the results for “cute puppies” that I could ever want. That speed is key because if it were to take a couple seconds longer, I might lose interest altogether. I am a millennial after all.
The best part is that Google knows how easily we will lose interest. They’re always pushing to bring you results and exactly what you need even faster, which seems to almost train us to want things faster. If you think back to the early days of the internet, you’ll remember hooking up to dial-up and waiting for pages to load pop-ups before the content you really wanted. This could take minutes, which isn’t really all that long to access the information available on the internet. But these days, waiting that long would probably cause you to either reset your router multiple times or even call your service provider. Nobody wants to call their service provider.
One update that Google has made to speed things up in the past week is answer boxes that come up and display the answer to a simple question you’ve asked, without showing you anything else. So, I searched “what time is it in California” and all I got was exactly the answer I was looking for and nothing else. There is an option to show all results, but without them, the page loaded at super speed, 0.14 seconds, and I got the answer as quickly as possible.
Our greed for speed is the main reason why search engine optimization and intelligent ad design, or what Google calls “Quality Score” is really important. If a customer clicks on your ad and doesn’t immediately see what they were looking for, they usually back out of the site. This is referred to as bouncing. If people bounce, it’s an indication to Google that they’re showing ads that aren’t relevant to what the customer is searching. They’ll lower the quality score of the ad, which means it costs you more to appear for that keyword. That’s why ads need to be designed just right and lead to the right landing page in order for you to get conversions. If it’s an organic search result that a customer bounces out of, they’ll lower the ranking. It’s imperative to have the pages of your site optimized for the right thing so that people don’t bounce, but rather convert, and also so that Google views it as relevant content. That’s why ads need to be designed just right and lead to the right landing page in order for you to get conversions.
For Google, everything is based on how fast they can serve the right thing to the consumer and knowing this certainly helps us understand why marketing online can be such a complicated business. Everyone’s too busy to wait and when Google always seems to find exactly what they’re looking for in under a second, people are likely to trust it.