For the Love of Bots: Site Speed and the Human Element

August 29th, 2013 / Shane Larrabee

I obviously spend a lot of my time working on sites and talking with folks regarding the various aspects of their Websites. However last night after reading (yet another) article on page load time, I realized how seldom my clients mention the load time of their sites. In fact I think the only ones that this ever comes up with are those involved in serious SEO campaigns.

For the Love of Bots

Just because ‘most’ of my clients aren’t talking about it doesn’t mean I haven’t spent a lot of time optimizing sites. But again this has always been for those clients doing a lot of concentrated SEO. Using tools like and Google’s own we work to improve page load time by increasing our scores amongst these tools. However the odd thing here is that it is never about how the Website feels in a browser – its about the scores, the reports and the bots.

People Read Websites Too

These scores are important and working to improve them is important. But I just want to take a step back and ask: How does your site feel? Take an unscientific approach, ignore the bots, the scores and points… Does your site feel fast or is it slow? The reason I ask this is that despite the huge number of articles talking about SEO and page speed, I have seen many popular (high ranking) sites that run at an insanely slow pace. The culprit is almost always an abundance of social media plugins, third party reporting systems and advertisements. Now I get that page speed is just one factor of many in the SEO game, I guess all I’m saying is that before folks get up tight about what the bots think and report, take a look from a human perspective. What is the human experience?