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We have a website that has hundreds dynamic category pages that bring up a list of products by searching relevant products in our database. The problem is that a query from server to database takes 4-6s to return, which increases the load time to 7-9s. Cached pages load very fast in 2-3s even if I visit this page for the first time.

One of the solutions we have is to run the bot every 24 hours and keep those pages cached on the server for 24 hours.

Can anybody see potential negative impact on SEO? Have anybody used similar approach?

  • Your times do not sound right to me. You are talking seconds and not milliseconds? I use my own web server and DB servers. One meta-data db server is running on the web server and the the data resides on a dedicated server. All of this happens within just a few milliseconds. Complete page loads are complete in less than 400 milliseconds. You need to fix your problem before screwing around with cache. Cache is NOT your answer! – closetnoc Mar 26 '18 at 1:23
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    Thanks a lot for reply. What happens between the server and database, is server runs a search query from around 100000 products to match the category name and then builds a page from those products before serving it to the client. This process takes 4000ms on good days according to tools.pingdom.com/#!/cZ4rFS/https://dev1.industrysearch.com.au/… But if page is cached on the server it takes 3000ms to load full page as all information about products is already there. – Andrew Lebedev Mar 26 '18 at 2:44
  • I understand that search algorithm may not be optimised and take longer than could but I think caching pages might be an easy fix at least until we fix the search? – Andrew Lebedev Mar 26 '18 at 2:47
  • It sounds like you are measuring page loads including external resources. Keep in mind using a 3rd party tool such as you are may not give you accurate results. You will want to check how long it takes to render the page or time to first byte to make sure your processes are correct. 100k in your DB is nothing. I had 100 million and over 70 tables. So times should be short. If you are satisfied, you can up your query cache in the DB and web server internal cache. But do not do this for a broken system. – closetnoc Mar 26 '18 at 3:43
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    Why do you think it could hurt SEO? How would Googlebot (or users) even know they are getting a cached page? If anything, fixing performance problems usually helps SEO. – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 26 '18 at 11:36
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Use the cached versions. As has been pointed out in the comments Googlebot would not 'notice' the difference between a cached page or the dynamic version. Performance enhancements do help SEO and conversions.

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Site speed is an enormous ranking factor. If it takes 6 seconds for a user to load your page, there is a good chance that you won't see much organic search traffic, and it is very likely that your users will have very few pages per session as well as a high bounce rate.

Even 2-3 seconds for a page load can be rather high if that's the server response time. If that is post-waterfall after all of your images and javascript has loaded then that's pretty good.

To reduce the page load time of your site, you certainly need to cache the pages if it's going to take 6 seconds to load them otherwise. Reducing the page load time from 6 seconds to 2-3 seconds will have a MASSIVE effect on your ranking and success from your users.

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