What is the importance of website speed?

As It is a well known fact that websites with high loading time have to face issues related to SEO and usability, as no user likes to wait for a website to load. Moreover, search rankings are also given by Google as per the speed of website. The loading time of a website is highly crucial. However, it is important to know what other effects are caused by slow loading websites?.


Mentioned below are some cases shared by various tech companies about their learning regarding web optimization.


Case Study – Amazon


A presentation shared by Greg Linden on Big Data, when talking about his work, shows how important the loading speed of a site is in relation to revenue.


Linden, who is credited for inventing the recommendation engine of Amazon, shares a fact about how a delay of even a 100 millisecond can drop the revenues of an online company by 1%.


This can become clearer through some calculations.


In the previous year, the estimated revenue of Amazon was $74.5 billion in total. Considering the disclosure by Linden, Amazon will have to bear a loss of $745 million in revenue within a year if it increases the loading time of its pages by even a second’s fraction.


Case Study – Bing


In a presentation during some joint conference, Eric Schurman and Jake Brutlag, from Bing and Google, respectively, discussed a few impacts of delays in web server.


An experiment was performed by Bing to evaluate the impact it will lead to if they increased the loading time of their pages by just 1.5 seconds than usual.


Take a look at the results.


Besides other factors, a decrease was seen in:

  • User satisfaction by 3.8%
  • Per user revenue by 4.3%
  • Total clicks by 4.4%



Case Study – Akamai


Akamai has been a leading name in the industry of content delivery.


A research study was conducted by the company in 2009 that involved more than 1,000 online users or shoppers. They discovered the following:


  • 2 seconds is the threshold – if it is increased then the users might show impatience.
  • If the site loading time increases beyond 3 seconds then about 40% of total respondents can leave the site.

All these statistics indicate one thing and that is the significant loss in total revenue amount.


Case Study – Google


Marissa Mayer, current CEO of Yahoo and former VP at Google, shared the results of an experiment conducted by her with her team about the search result pages of Google.


They primarily studied the impact of increasing the number of results on search pages of Google, from 10 results per page to 30 results per page.


After analyzing the facts and data, they noticed 25% decreases in searches by users who were showed the increased number of search results.


Did it happen because the users were able to find whatever they were seeking on the very first page of search results as it displayed more results and thus they were not required to perform any other search?

However, after conducing further investigation it was found that the drop in searches was because of the increase in the loading time of the page.

On an average, the response time faced by users who were given increased number of research results was 0.9 sec, while the loading time in case of other users with less number of search results was only 0.4 sec.


So, it was found that a delay of even some milliseconds, which was just 500 milliseconds in this case, can cause a significant decrease in impressions of pages.


Case Study – Shopzilla


Some years ago, a major site redesigning project was initiated by Shopzilla, which stretched over two years.


At that time, Shopzilla already had a huge customer base and was getting about 20 to 29 million visitors in a month, as well as 8,000 searches were being performed every second. Thus, it became imperative to optimize the performance of their website, to handle such large amount of traffic.


Their initiative of web optimization led to considerable improvements, which resulted in a 5 second decrease in the loading time of pages.


Very important lessons and facts found during the optimization process were then shared by the Shopzilla’s VP of Engineering, Phil Dixon.


Improvement in the speed of their website leads to incredible grown in some crucial metrics:


  • 7-12% increase in conversion rates
  • 25% increase in page views


It is not difficult to imagine the staggering increase their site saw in page views and too by just improving the speed of the site, as they already got more than 100 million impressions in a day.


Case Study – AOL


David Artz, who co-authored a book titled Website Optimization and is, serving at AOL as the Director of Website Optimization, also shared a few crucial metrics:


The reason behind this is the sections they tested of AOL.com, an increase of 160% on an average was found in total amount of page views by users who were in the top 10% of average loading time, which is the fastest experience, in comparison to those users who were in the last 10%, which meant the slowest experience.



All these studies make us see one important thing and that is – when it comes to building great websites, website speed is the most crucial element. Based on the findings of these experiments and surveys, we can rightly say that a slow loading website can have negative impacts on usability, conversion rates, revenue and UX.