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Should I be worried about ad servers affecting my site’s speed and ranking?

Should I be worried about ad servers affecting my site’s speed and ranking? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

MATT:OK. Today’s question comes from One Jus, or One J U S, who didn’t get the memo about using your real name whenever asking questions. But the question was quite interesting. It comes from Newbury, Berkshire. “Hi Matt. With the recent news about website speed being included in the Google metrics, how will Google allow for slow third party ad servers, including AdWords, dragging a site’s load speed down? For example, Ad Server on load: five seconds versus Ad Server off: sub one second.” It’s a great question. The rough way to think about it is this. Well there’s a couple things you need to know. First think about it in terms of what happens up until the on load event. So there are a lot of ways where you can do asynchronous JavaScript to make sure that things happen after the on load event. For example, Google Analytics recently just introduced code which will handle things asynchronously. So you don’t have to worry any more about, OK this request goes off, and it happens after the on load event. So the on load event is a good way to think about what needs to happen before users are able to interact with the page. What is the totality of everything happening before they’re able to start clicking on things, or see what the page layout really looks like and start interacting with it? So you can do these sort of asynchronous JavaScript tricks. The other thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of people really won’t have a problem. A lot of people were really worried about page speed. And they were saying, oh I’m worried this will be much more important than the actual content. And that’s not the case. It’s one of over 200 different signals. The content and the reputation definitely matters a lot more than just the pure page speed. So whenever you’re thinking about it, unless you’re really an outlier and you’re one of the slowest sites, it’s not going to be the deciding factor. That’s not the sort of thing that you necessarily have to worry about. But if you do want to pay attention to it, you can do these sort of asynchronous calls like Google Analytics does. And I think a lot of ad servers will probably support this more in the future, such that the on load event can happen, and then things can show up afterward if they need to. And users don’t have to wait around seeing a slow loading page sort of situation. So, again, a lot of people always think about how is page speed going to affect things. Do what’s right for your users, and think about how it’s going to work in general. But for most situations, you really don’t need to worry that much.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: