Can One Slow Page of your Site Affect all Search Rankings?

One question that always wanders in an SEO professional’s mind is – “What if SEO of one webpage is affecting search results for all their pages?” Well, the thing about the SEO industry is that we don’t have exact answers to most questions. But thanks to the SEO gurus who have done so much analysis over the years that today we have possible and logical answers to everything. Let me give you an interesting example for that –

Remember the E-A-T update by Google, which made Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trust an important factor for SEO? The answer to this update that we got from Google was the same as always – “Work on making the best content and Google will rank it at the top position.” So, obviously, the SEO pros’ appetite was hungry for more on this. So they kept a close watch, and finally, the Search Engine Journal gave know-how of the update based on the patents by Google – The Mechanics of E-A-T. I would recommend you to read this post to get insights on the E-A-T update.

Now back to the main question – “Can one slow page of your site affect all your search rankings?”. We will answer that first, and after that, I hope you can also have a basic understanding of the more important question – “What if SEO of one webpage is affecting search results for all their pages?”. So let’s get to it then –

Can one slow page of your site affect all your search rankings?

Interesting

The simple answer is – It depends. It depends on how much data Google has collected for your website. And it also depends on how Google understands your site. Now let me explain that by giving an example –

Let’s assume you have created a personal website where you post your blogs. You also like photography, so you want that site to have a gallery page with all the beautiful pictures you take occasionally. And those pics are high in quality and size (>1MB). But because of that, your gallery page loads very slow as compared to your blog posts. Now, when Google crawls your website and collects data on loading time, it also visits your gallery page. And let’s say you are so unlucky (I wish not) that Google only collected that Gallery page’s site speed data. Then what will happen is that Google will assume that your whole site loads slow like that gallery page and will rank you depending on that until it gets more data on other webpages.

But there’s a catch. The above case can only happen when your ‘Site Architecture’ points out that the slow page is just like every other page on your site. Whereas if the site architecture is well-managed and shows that the gallery page has a different objective, it will only affect the SEO of that slow page.

How can you have a well-managed Site Architecture?

Source: Backlinko

You can have a well-managed Site Architecture through Sitemap. A sitemap gives directions to Google on how to crawl your website and can tell you how the website is structured. Another option is to have a whole different subdomain. For example, rather than having a gallery page with URL – www.mysite.com/gallery/page/1. You can have a subdomain for gallery pages which will have this kind of URL – gallery.mysite.com/1/. Different subdomains give a direct idea that they serve different purposes.

So, this way you can save your site’s speed from being impacted due to a single page. Now let’s take a look at the bigger question –

Does a single page affect the search rankings of the whole site?

It is ‘believed’ that just like one page’s speed can impact your whole site’s speed report, data on various SEO factors for a single page can also impact the whole site’s SEO. Though, saying that this is a fact would be wrong, as I didn’t find an answer to the exact question. But it makes sense that when Google can’t crawl all the pages of a website, it can use analysis on the available data and make decisions based on it. So the thing that matters is – Whether you have a site architecture that helps Google understand your site or not? That’s the important point you should keep in mind. I would recommend you to follow this blog to help you with Site Architecture – Backlinko.

The blog is over, but you can continue till the final goodbye…

I hope that this blog post answers your curiosity. However, SEO is a field where you don’t get exact answers, but as I said before, we have enormous data and SEO gurus’ insights to understand it. I would also recommend you to read this article by Search Engine Journal. It gives you a background of this answer and key takeaways from it. And about the factors on the site speed, we hope that we get better know-how on that with Google’s full-fledged decision on making Core Web Vitals a ranking factor, sometime in 2021.

So that would be all. And if you found any mistakes in my blogs or have any constructional criticism, please reach out through comments or contact page. Believe me. It won’t alter my blood pressure. I would love to write my wrongs (this mistake was intentional).

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