SEO Tip #91: Should I Be Worried about Ad Servers Affecting My Site’s Speed and Ranking?

Matt Cutts: The rough way to think about it is this; 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 introduced code which will handle things asynchronously. So you don’t have to worry anymore 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 sorts of asynchronous JavaScript tricks. The other thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of people really don’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.”

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 you have to necessarily 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 situation.

So again a lot of people always think about how page speed is going to affect things. Do what is 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.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.