Your site's performance in Webmaster Tools

Friday, December 04, 2009

Let's take a quick look at the individual sections in the Google Webmaster Tools' Site Performance feature:

Performance overview

speed and performance overview in webmaster tools

The performance overview shows a graph of the aggregated speed numbers for the website, based on the pages that were most frequently accessed by visitors who use the Google Toolbar with the PageRank feature activated. By using data from Google Toolbar users, you don't have to worry about us testing your site from a location that your users do not use. For example, if your site is in Germany and all your users are in Germany, the chart will reflect the load time as seen in Germany. Similarly, if your users mostly use dial-up connections (or high-speed broadband), that would be reflected in these numbers as well. If only a few visitors of your site use the Google Toolbar, we may not be able to show this data in Webmaster Tools.

The line between the red and the green sections on the chart is the 20th percentile—only 20% of the sites we check are faster than this. This website is pretty close to the 20% mark, which pages would we have to work on first?

Example pages with load times

Webmaster Tools' Site Performance showing samples of pages with their average load times

In this section you can find some example pages along with the average, aggregated load times that users observed while they were on your website. These numbers may differ from what you see as they can come from a variety of different browsers, internet connections and locations. This list can help you to recognize pages which take longer than average to load—pages that slow your users down.

As the page load times are based on actual accesses made by