How do you make sure this does not happen to you? The most simple thing to do is to have a fast website server. This is something that is incredibly simple to do but might cost a few extra dollars a month to have your site hosted on a fast server. It is worth it.
Google basically sees it the same exact way. Google and other search engines are trying to provide their users with the best websites possible on search results. Displaying a slow website that they are going to get frustrated on is not a good result in their eyes.
Having good SEO means doing a lot of different things well. Many websites likely excel in certain areas and lag behind in others. For example a website could have great content but bad technical setup. Most websites out there probably have a weakness in one area or another.
Every aspect of SEO has some importance. The flashy things like content and links definitely play a major role, but having technical issues such as slow site speed will hurt those efforts if you do not pay attention.
So how much can a slow website hurt SEO rankings? Pretty significantly when it comes down to it. Even with a well rounded SEO strategy that has many strengths, poor site speed can drag rankings down in a hurry. Unfortunately, if your website gets deemed as slow and receives speed errors, it will take some time to recover.
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