High Response Time Warnings

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Message CenterGoogle Webmaster Tools is a wonderful little resource with tools and information for webmasters regarding crawling and indexing of their websites. One nice feature about Webmaster Tools is its message center, that acts as a mini inbox with messages about websites that you have verified with Google. Verification can be accomplished through uploading a specifically named html file or adding a specific meta tag to your homepage.

The usual messages you will see in the message center will be about logged activity, such as crawl rate changes. However, there will occasionally be diagnostic-type messages like “high response time” warnings that you should nota bene. A “high response time” alert in your message center will look like this, followed by the average load times of the slow-loading URLs:

Subject: “Some URLs in the Sitemap have a high response time.”

Description: “Some URLs listed in this Sitemap have a high response time. This may indicate a problem with your server or with the content of the page.”

Why You Should Care

It was announced last month that landing page load times affect quality scores and implied that searchers, and subsequently Google, prefer faster loading websites. It can be deduced from this fact, along with the new “high response time” warnings, that the time it takes for your website to load will affect your ranking on search engine result pages, and consequently diminish your search traffic.

If your website can’t handle the amount of traffic Google will send to you and maybe even time out, then it doesn’t make sense for them to rank you highly – especially for competitive keywords.

Some steps you should take:

1) Add and verify your website at Webmaster Tools.
2) Keep an eye on your crawl rates and the message center.
3) Re-organize your website structure and/or get a new web host.

5 Responses to “ High Response Time Warnings ”

  1. I like to read about new resources and useful tips for webmasters. I am new to seo but reading blogs like yours is a great pleasure for newbies like me.

  2. I’m glad you like it. :)

  3. I’d never thought about it. Thanks for the information about webmaster tools..

  4. High response times almost killed one of my web directories this past quarter in pagerank update. Had some issues with DNS, which caused timeouts and then the site was dropped from Google’s index.
    I first thought is was some kind of penalty, but figure it out in Google’s, webmaster tools.
    The hardest part, was I got stuck on thinking it was a Google penalty with being a pay-by-review directory and the big “G” thinking I was selling links and passing PR. The directory was put back into Google’s index a few weeks before the update and I was able to keep my Pagerank. Didn’t gain, but didn’t loose. It was a good thing it wasn’t “Madmouse” my main directory. It will be interesting to see what happenings this next update.

  5. But how to handle those pages having a High response Time to Overcome the errors ??

    Should we ensure faster loading by removing images /Flash in those pages ??

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