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Why Google Cares About Your Landing Page Load Times and Why You as an Adwords Advertiser Should Too!

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Google AdWords / March 13, 2008

As if staying on top of your Adwords quality score wasn’t tricky enough with all the recent updates (AKA Google Slaps), Google now plans to factor in site load times into their calculation of advertisers’ Adwords quality scores. Despite the added complications and work this will cause, Google is actually doing everyone a favor in the long run. This proposed change will not only force advertisers to maintain stricter quality controls on their websites and landing pages, but will result in a better user experience which means increased conversions and revenues for advertisers – not to mention better pay per click performance.

So how do I know if my site loads too slowly and what can I do about it?

The whole idea behind this move is to reduce friction on your websites that keep users from getting what they want or finding what they are looking for after they click on one of your ads. How can you verify your site load time? Google suggests using their webmaster tools however, one of our strategic partners Charlotte Riley of A.C. Riley Communications blogged about a powerful tool called pingdom that shows you your actual site load time and even how long it takes to load individual elements on your pages such as images and javascript codes. The tool is great for quickly pinpointing problem areas to work on. For example: loading site-wide elements that don’t need to be on all pages of your site causing slower load times. You can even benchmark your site against your competitors’ sites to see how you stack up.

Google plans to begin measuring site load times within the next few weeks after which you’ll have a month to make improvements before your quality score is recalculated.

Search Engine Roundtable provides a good overview of this change and shares some insights on how Google will calculate a load time grade score (which will be visible from within your campaigns according to our sources at Google). It would be interesting to know however, how Google will factor in temporary site down times into the equation. We’ll keep you posted on our experiences and insights when this new update comes into full effect.

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