Tag Archive | "Speed"

Top Marketing News: Content Marketing Trends, Google Checks Your Speed & YouTube Live-Streaming Updates

Content Trends 2018: BuzzSumo Research Report
A new report for BuzzSumo shows that social sharing is down 50% year-over-year, LinkedIn is becoming a leader in social engagement and more. BuzzSumo

YouTube Adds New Live-Streaming Tools, Including Monetization Options. Social Media Today
YouTube recently added automatic english language subtitles for live-streaming videos, along with the ability to replay live-streamed videos and chat simultaneously and more.  Social Media Today

Google Releases Mobile Scorecard & Impact Calculator Tools To Illustrate Importance Of Mobile Page Speed
Google continues to reinforce the importance of mobile page speed. The search engine recently released tools to help website admins and marketers alike better understand why speed matters on mobile.  Search Engine Land

We Regret to Inform You That Vero Is Bad [Updated]
Although Vero was supposed to be the better Instagram, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in light of functionality issues that have come to the surface. Gizmodo

Making your first AMP Story: Google’s answer to Snapchat and Instagram
Google recently announced AMP Stories, a new format similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories, implemented via a new accelerated mobile pages (AMP) component. Search Engine Land

Marketing and IT Departments Need to Get In Sync to Best Capitalize on Mobile Technology
According to recent research from Adobe, technologies like augmented reality , virtual reality and artificial intelligence are poised to help accelerate the mobile evolution. AdWeek

Google Confirms “Edge Cases” When Content Theft Can Cause Negative Effects
Search Engine Journal reports: “Google has updated the search results pages by adding breadcrumbs to the top of the page. The breadcrumbs are triggered by informational search queries and are accompanied by images.” Search Engine Journal

Media Buyers: Snapchat Is Focused On Enabling Commerce In Ads
Look out Pinterest in Instagram — Snapchat is making a play for eCommerce advertisers. According to Digiday: “Snapchat is working on developing new commerce units to bolster its e-commerce offering.” Digiday

Twitter’s Rolling Out its New ‘Bookmarks’ Feature to All Users
Twitter announced that it’s rolling out its new ‘Bookmarks’ feature, which serve as an alternative to liking a Tweet you want to view later. Social Media Today

Facebook Rolls Out Job Posts To Become The Blue-collar Linkedin
Facebook is trying to compete with LinkedIn in the job market, and they’re starting with skilled workers. TechCrunch

GDPR Study Shows 65% Of Companies Unable To Comply
MediaPost reports: “Data Applications provider Solix Technologies released the results Tuesday of a survey outlining the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) readiness assessment, revealing that the majority of organizations are not prepared for May 2018 GDPR enforcement.”  MediaPost


On the Lighter Side:
Skippy Goes Smooth With Mark Ronson Soundtrack To Promote Its Creamy Peanut Butter – The Drum
Lacoste’s Iconic Crocodile Makes Room for 10 Endangered Species on Brand’s Polo Shirts – AdWeek

TopRank Marketing (And Clients) In the News:
TopRank Marketing Blog - The 50 Best Business & Marketing Blogs – Detailed
Steve Slater - Word of Mouth Marketing: How to Create a Strategy for Social Media Buzz & Skyrocket Referral Sales - BigCommerce
Rachel Miller and Lee Odden - Top Influencers to engage with ahead of the #SMMW18 conference – Onalytica
Lee Odden - Top 100 Digital Marketers 2018 – Brand24
Alex Rynne (LinkedIn) and Lee Odden – 7 Things Learned from Attending B2BMX – Cassie Ciopryna
Lee Odden – Humanizing Marketing —Takeaways from #B2BMX 2018 – Tabitha Adams
Cherwell Software – Cherwell Software wins the 2018 Killer Content Award! – Alison Munn

We’ll be back next week with more digital marketing news! If you need more in the meantime, follow @TopRank on Twitter or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

The post Top Marketing News: Content Marketing Trends, Google Checks Your Speed & YouTube Live-Streaming Updates appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

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SearchCap: Google Speed Update, schema reviews & PPC artificial intelligence

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google Speed Update, schema reviews & PPC artificial intelligence appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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Images: Your easiest page speed win

Page speed is important for both rankings and user experience, yet columnist Kristine Schachinger notes that many companies are missing an easy opportunity to improve in this area: image optimization.

The post Images: Your easiest page speed win appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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6 SEO Friendly Tips to Improve Site Speed on WordPress Blogs

"If a page takes more than a couple of seconds to load, users will instantly hit the back button and move on." – Loren Baker

In the world of SEO, user experience on websites has always been a factor, as has the time it takes for a site to load.

However, with the use of mobile devices surpassing desktop use (in most consumer-facing industries) and the wide adoption of broadband, people expect sites to load instantly.

Long gone are the days of waiting 10 seconds for a site to load.

If a page takes more than a couple of seconds to load, users will instantly hit the back button and move on to the next result.

Accordingly, Google officially started paying attention to site speed and declared its importance as a factor in rankings.

In order to keep up with Google’s site-ranking measures, WordPress blog users need to know exactly what they can do to improve their own site speed.

Remember when Google rolled out AMP (accelerated mobile pages)?

They now serve up publisher content in a simplified Google hosted experience that renders superfast. I like AMP from a user perspective because I know that AMP content will load incredibly fast on my mobile device, but as a publisher:

I’d rather speed up my blog and attract traffic directly to my site than have users stay on Google.

If you use StudioPress Sites or the Rainmaker Platform, your site will already load quickly. However, adding ad scripts, featured images, tracking codes, 301 redirects, etc. will slow down the loading of a site and increase demand on your server/hosting company.

Here are six simple tips I recommend since we used them to dramatically speed up the Search Engine Journal (SEJ) load time — it’s at 1.8 seconds!

1. Use a content delivery network

A content delivery network (CDN) is a group of servers that deliver web pages and other content according to the location of the user, the webpage origin, and its server.

It can handle heavy traffic and speeds up the delivery of content to different users.

For WordPress blogs looking to improve site speed, Cloudflare is a great tool to consider. Cloudflare offers a free content delivery network that speeds up the performance of your site and optimizes it for efficiency on any device.

It also offers security services that help protect websites from crawlers, bots, and other attackers.

2. Compress your images

Another effective way to reduce page-load time and increase site speed is by compressing your images. A CDN will help with this, but it doesn’t take care of 100 percent of the job.

There are several different plugins available that compress all the images on your website — and even compress new images as you upload them as well.

ShortPixel is a WordPress plugin that allows you to compress both new and old images on your blog. We use it on SEJ and various other sites, and absolutely love it.

It allows you to quickly compress images in batches for greater convenience, reduces the time it takes to do backups, and ensures all your processed files are kept safe and secure. The best part about it is that your image quality stays the same, regardless of the size of the image.

Other image-compression plugins also maintain the quality of your pictures and improve site speed.

3. Prevent ad scripts and pop-ups from slowing down the user experience

Many web pages today contain some form of third-party script that either runs ads for revenue or uses pop-ups to promote conversion. You want to build your audience and get more customers of course, but balance is key here.

Although it’s difficult to completely get rid of them to improve your site speed, you can tame their performance impact while keeping them on your website to provide their intended benefits.

The trick is to first identify the third-party scripts that run on your site, where they come from, and how they impact your blog.

You can use different real-time monitoring tools that track and identify which scripts delay your site-loading time and affect your site metrics.

One of my favorite tools to do this is Pingdom’s Website Speed Test, because it breaks down each file and script, and tells you which takes the most time to load.

The same rule applies for pop-up plugins that you add on to your site.

Knowing which ones work best to improve conversions and bring in email signups allows you to gauge which plugins to keep and which ones to uninstall.

One of the fastest pop-up plugins on the market is OptinMonster (a StudioPress partner). Its founder, Syed Balkhi, is a WordPress expert who stays on top of factors like site speed and overall user experience.

4. Install a caching plugin

Another effective way to reduce site-loading time is by installing caching plugins to your WordPress blog.

Caching plugins work by creating a static version of your WordPress blog and delivering it to your site users and visitors, which conveniently cuts your page-loading time in half.

Several cache plugins work best for WordPress, such as WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.

These plugins are easy to install and can be disabled anytime. They allow you to select certain pages on your blog (or all of them) to cache, and offer many other content compression settings that you can turn on or off.

WordPress supports many other plugins that allow you to optimize your blog to get rid of any latency in page-load time. It is important to test out these plugins to find the one that works best for you.

5. Disable plugins you don’t use

Tons of WordPress plugins can also make your site super slow, especially ones you don’t need.

It is important to review the plugins you have installed in the past and disable those that offer no significant value.

Many WordPress users install different plugins when they first create their blogs to enhance how they look, but realize over time that great-looking blogs don’t always attract traffic, especially if your page-loading time is slow.

Also, I would highly recommend making sure your plugins are updated. This may help improve page-load speed, but more importantly, it makes your site more secure.

6. Add one more layer of media optimization

One thing we realized at SEJ when speeding up the site was that even after optimizing images, ad scripts, and caching, there were still multiple forms of media that slowed down load time.

The internal fixes we implemented did not help with third-party media load times, such as embedded Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram content, or infographics from other sites.

One solution we found to assist with that is BJ Lazy Load. Essentially, this lazy-load plugin renders all written content first, then as the user scrolls down the page, images and other forms of media load. This way, the user doesn’t have to wait for tons of media to load before reading the main content.

What I really like about BJ Lazy Load is that in addition to images, it also lazy loads all embeds, iFrames, and YouTube videos. For a WordPress blog that uses a lot of embeds, it was ideal for us.

Bonus tip: ask your web host for help

If you run a WordPress blog or WordPress-powered site, then you should work with a hosting company that specializes in WordPress, such as WP Engine, Presslabs, or Rainmaker’s own Synthesis.

I’ve worked with all three, and one thing I can absolutely tell you is that if you contact them and ask how your site can be sped up, they will help you because the faster your site is, the less the load is on their servers.

As more and more people turn to mobile devices to access the internet, it is essential to optimize your blogs for mobile use and find ways to minimize page-loading time.

Remember, bounce rates increase when your page-load time is slow, which impacts whether or not your content gets read or skipped for other sites that load pages faster.

The post 6 SEO Friendly Tips to Improve Site Speed on WordPress Blogs appeared first on Copyblogger.


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SearchCap: Bing Speed Test, Google Maps Driver Mode & Google Confusion

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Bing Speed Test, Google Maps Driver Mode & Google Confusion appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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SearchCap: Google Search Console, Apple Maps & Panda & Penguin Speed

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google Search Console, Apple Maps & Panda & Penguin Speed appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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How Website Speed Actually Impacts Search Ranking

Posted by Zoompf

Google uses a multitude of factors to determine how to rank search engine results. Typically, these factors are either related to the content of a webpage itself (the text, its URL, the titles and headers, etc.) or were measurements of the authenticity of the website itself (age of the domain name, number and quality of inbound links, etc.). However, in 2010, Google did something very different. Google announced website speed would begin having an impact on search ranking. Now, the speed at which someone could view the content from a search result would be a factor.

Unfortunately, the exact definition of “site speed” remained open to speculation. The mystery widened further in June, when Google’s Matt Cutts announced that slow-performing mobile sites would soon be penalized in search rankings as well.

Clearly Google is increasingly acting upon what is intuitively obvious: A poor performing website results in a poor user experience, and sites with poor user experiences deserve less promotion in search results. But what is Google measuring? And how does that play into search engine rankings? Matt Peters, data scientist at Moz, asked Zoompf to help find the answers.


While Google has been intentionally unclear in which particular aspect of page speed impacts search ranking, they have been quite clear in stating that content relevancy remains king. So, in other words, while we can demonstrate a correlation (or lack thereof) between particular speed metrics and search ranking, we can never outright prove a causality relationship, since other unmeasurable factors are still at play. Still, in large enough scale, we make the assumption that any discovered correlations are a “probable influence” on search ranking and thus worthy of consideration.


To begin our research, we worked with Matt to create a list of of 2,000 random search queries from the 2013 Ranking Factors study. We selected a representative sample of queries, some with as few as one search term (“hdtv”), others as long as five (“oklahoma city outlet mall stores”) and everything in between. We then extracted the top 50 ranked search result URLs for each query, assembling a list of 100,000 total pages to evaluate.

Next, we launched 30 Amazon “small” EC2 instances running in the Northern Virginia cloud, each loaded with an identical private instance of the open source tool WebPageTest. This tool uses the same web browser versions used by consumers at large to collect over 40 different performance measurements about how a webpage loads. We selected Chrome for our test, and ran each tested page with an empty cache to guarantee consistent results.

While we’ll summarize the results below, if you want to check out the data for yourself you can download the entire result set here.


While we captured over 40 different page metrics for each URL examined, most did not show any significant influence on search ranking. This was largely expected, as (for example) the number of connections a web browser uses to load a page should likely not impact search ranking position. For the purposes of brevity, in this section we will just highlight the particularly noteworthy results. Again, please consult the raw performance data if you wish to examine it for additional factors.

Page load time

When people say”page load time” for a website, they usually mean one of two measurements: “document complete” time or “fully rendered” time. Think of document complete time as the time it takes a page to load before you can start clicking or entering data. All the content might not be there yet, but you can interact with the page. Think of fully rendered time as the time it takes to download and display all images, advertisements, and analytic trackers. This is all the “background stuff” you see fill in as you’re scrolling through a page.

Since Google was not clear on what page load time means, we examined both the effects of both document complete and fully rendered on search rankings. However our biggest surprise came from the lack of correlation of two key metrics! We expected, if anything, these 2 metrics would clearly have an impact on search ranking. However, our data shows no clear correlation between document complete or fully rendered times with search engine rank, as you can see in the graph below:

The horizontal axis measures the position of a page in the search results, while the vertical axis is the median time captured across all 2,000 different search terms used in the study. So in other words, if you plugged all 2,000 search terms into Google one by one and then clicked the first result for each, we’d measure the page load time of each of those pages, then calculate the median and plot at position 1. Then repeat for the second result, and third, and on and on until you hit 50.

We would expect this graph to have a clear “up and to the right” trend, as highly ranked pages should have a lower document complete or fully rendered time. Indeed, page rendering has a proven link to user satisfaction and sales conversions (we’ll get into that later), but surprisingly we could not find a clear correlation to ranking in this case.

Time to first byte

With no correlation between search ranking and what is traditionally thought of a “page load time” we expanded our search to the Time to First Byte (TTFB). This metric captures how long it takes your browser to receive the first byte of a response from a web server when you request a particular URL. In other words, this metric encompasses the network latency of sending your request to the web server, the amount of time the web server spent processing and generating a response, and amount of time it took to send the first byte of that response back from the server to your browser. The graph of median TTFB for each search rank position is shown below:

The TTFB result was surprising in a clear correlation was identified between decreasing search rank and increasing time to first byte. Sites that have a lower TTFB respond faster and have higher search result rankings than slower sites with a higher TTFB. Of all the data we captured, the TTFB metric had the strongest correlation effect, implying a high likelihood of some level of influence on search ranking.

Page size

The surprising result here was with the the median size of each web page, in bytes, relative to the search ranking position. By “page size,” we mean all of the bytes that were downloaded to fully render the page, including all the images, ads, third party widgets, and fonts. When we graphed the median page size for each search rank position, we found a counterintuitive correlation of decreasing page size to decreasing page rank, with an anomalous dip in the top 3 ranks.

This result confounded us at first, as we didn’t anticipate any real relationship here. Upon further speculation, though, we had a theory: lower ranking sites often belong to smaller companies with fewer resources, and consequently may have less content and complexity in their sites. As rankings increase, so does the complexity, with the exception of the “big boys” at the top who have extra budget to highly optimize their offerings. Think Amazon.com vs. an SMB electronics retailer vs. a mom-and-pop shop. We really have no proof of this theory, but it fits both the data and our own intuition.

Total image content

Since our analysis of the total page size surprised us, we decided to examine the median size, in bytes, of all images loaded for each page, relative to the search rank position. Other then a sharp spike in the first two rankings, the results are flat and uninteresting across all remaining rankings.

While we didn’t expect a strong level of correlation here we did expected some level of correlation, as sites with more images do load more slowly. Since this metric is tied closely to the fully rendered time mentioned above, the fact that this is equally flat supports the findings that page load time is likely not currently impacting search ranking.

What does this mean?

Our data shows there is no correlation between “page load time” (either document complete or fully rendered) and ranking on Google’s search results page. This is true not only for generic searches (one or two keywords) but also for “long tail” searches (4 or 5 keywords) as well. We did not see websites with faster page load times ranking higher than websites with slower page load times in any consistent fashion. If Page Load Time is a factor in search engine rankings, it is being lost in the noise of other factors. We had hoped to see some correlation especially for generic one- or two-word queries. Our belief was that the high competition for generic searches would make smaller factors like page speed stand out more. This was not the case.

However, our data shows there is a correlation between lower time-to-first-byte (TTFB) metrics and higher search engine rankings. Websites with servers and back-end infrastructure that could quickly deliver web content had a higher search ranking than those that were slower. This means that, despite conventional wisdom, it is back-end website performance and not front-end website performance that directly impacts a website’s search engine ranking. The question is, why?

TTFB is likely the quickest and easiest metric for Google to capture. Google’s various crawlers will all be able to take this measurement. Collecting document complete or fully rendered times requires a full browser. Additionally, document complete and fully rendered times depend almost as much on the capabilities of the browser loading the page as they do on the design, structure, and content of the website. Using TTFB to determine the “performance” or “speed” could perhaps be explainable by the increased time and effort required to capture such data from the Google crawler. We suspect over time, though, that page rendering time will also factor into rankings due to the high indication of the importance of user experience.

Not only is TTFB easy to calculate, but it is also a reasonable metric to gauge the performance of an entire site. TTFB is affected by 3 factors:

  1. The network latency between a visitor and the server.
  2. How heavily loaded the web server is.
  3. How quickly the website’s back end can generate the content.

Websites can lower network latency by utilizing Content Distribution Networks (CDNs). CDNs can quickly deliver content to all visitors, often regardless of geographic location, in a greatly accelerated manner. Of course, the very reason these websites are ranked so highly could be the reason they need to have high capacity servers, or utilize CDNs, or optimize their application or database layers.

Tail wagging the dog?

Do these websites rank highly because they have better back-end infrastructure than other sites? Or do they need better back-end infrastructure to handle the load of ALREADY being ranked higher? While both are possible, our conclusion is that sites with faster back ends receive a higher rank, and not the other way around.

We based this conclusion on the fact that highly specific queries with four or five search terms are not returning results for highly trafficked websites. This long tail of searches is typically smaller sites run by much smaller companies about very specific topics that don’t receive the large volumes of traffic that necessitate complex environments of dozens of servers. However, even for these smaller sites, fast websites with lower TTFB are consistently ranked higher than slower websites with higher TTFB.


The back-end performance of a website directly impacts search engine ranking. The back end includes the web servers, their network connections, the use of CDNs, and the back-end application and database servers. Website owners should explore ways to improve their TTFB. This includes using CDNs, optimizing your application code, optimizing database queries, and ensuring you have fast and responsive web servers. Start by measuring your TTFB with a tool like WebPageTest, as well as the TTFB of your competitors, to see how you need to improve.

While we have found that front-end web performance factors (“document complete” and “fully rendered” times) do not directly factor into search engine rankings, it would be a mistake to assume they are not important or that they don’t effect search engine rankings in another way. At its core, front-end performance is focused on creating a fast, responsive, enjoyable user experience. There is literally a decade of research from usability experts and analysts on how web performance affects user experience. Fast websites have more visitors, who visit more pages, for longer period of times, who come back more often, and are more likely to purchase products or click ads. In short, faster websites make users happy, and happy users promote your website through linking and sharing. All of these things contribute to improving search engine rankings. If you’d like to see what specific front-end web performance problems you have, Zoompf’s free web performance report is a great place to start.

As we have seen, back-end performance and TTFB directly correlate to search engine ranking. Front-end performance and metrics like “document loaded” and “fully rendered” show no correlation with search engine rank. It is possible that the effects are too small to detect relative to all the other ranking factors. However, as we have explained, front-end performance directly impacts the user experience, and a good user experience facilitates the type of linking and sharing behavior which does improve search engine rankings. If you care about your search engine rankings, and the experience of your users, you should be improving both the front-end and back-end performance of your website. In our next blog post, we will discuss simple ways to optimize the performance of both the front and back ends of a website.

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