Google officially started to apply load time of your landing page as a factor in determining the quality score (QS) of keywords in your Adwords account since last week. Each keyword in your Adwords account is assigned a load time grade. The major factors that are used to determine a landing page’s load time include:
- The domain of your ad group’s landing pages
- The geographic region of your server
A keyword’s load time grade is based on the average load time of the landing pages in the ad group and of any landing pages in the rest of the account with the same domain. If multiple ad groups have landing pages with the same domain, therefore, the keywords in all these ad groups will have identical load time grades.
When determining load time grade, the AdWords system follows destination URLs at both the ad and keyword level and evaluates the final landing page.
If your ad group contains landing pages with different domains, the keywords’ load time grades will be based on the domain with the slowest load time. All the keywords in an ad group will always have the same load time grade.
Multiple measurements will be taken when recording the load time of your landing pages to ensure accuracy.
When you keywords are affected by slow load time of your landing pages, an obvious sign is that your keyword’s minimum CPC will be raised. Alternatively, you may also check each keyword’s load time via the keyword analysis page. Your page’s grade is displayed next to “Landing Page Load Time”.
- The grading of “This page loads slowly” means your landing page quality and quality score may be negatively affected.
- The grading of “No problems found” means your landing page quality and quality score may not be affected.
- The grading of “No problems found” and “Load time is faster than the average in your server’s geographic region” means your landing page quality and quality score may be positively affected.
Good practices to prevent from affected negatively include minimizing the file size of your landing page by reducing the use of components that can take long time to load, such as flash or videos, and avoiding using redirects whenever possible.