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Google Incorporates Site Speed in Search Rankings

"A faster web is great for everyone, but especially for users. Lots of websites have demonstrated that speeding up the user experience results in more usage. So speeding up your website isn’t just something that can affect your search rankings–it’s a fantastic idea for your users."

Matt Cutts, Google*

Use Case: Online Service


SAAS Applications and the Cloud

If you're a SAAS provider, you know how important availability and overall application performance is to the user experience. Customers and prospects have many choices, if your service doesn't deliver a good quality experience, they'll find another vendor. So monitoring is important but it's not always easy to do - as SAAS applications are often complex, with many moving parts and 3rd party integrations. To ensure a quality end user experience, you need to verify your website and web pages are working correctly. This is easy to do with AlertFox.

Use Case Details

In our use case, the SAAS provider North Market is having an issue with their trial sign up process. This is a critical problem, as almost all customers convert from trial users. If this transaction is down, North Market isn't capturing new customers. Let's use AlertFox to investigate and find the root of the problem.


Dashboard View

In our use case, almost everything looks good. Navigation is a bit slow and AlertFox confirms that the trial sign up process is down. Let's investigate further.

Real-Time Alerting

AlertFox can monitor the uptime and performance of your SAAS application resources and transactions, notifying you know the moment a transaction breaks or a resource slows down.


Performance Uptime and Availability

A quick look at the site's uptime and availability report shows no obvious problem. With AlertFox, we can view this data in near real-time, as well as with historical reports. To replicate the end user experience, all uptime and performance tests (we call them sensors) are run from multiple monitoring locations in Europe, the United States, and Asia. Next, let's take a look at the actual transaction detail.


Troubleshooting a transaction error

The multi-step graph captures each step in the trial signup process. As you can see, the form completion step stopped working at approximately 3 pm. With such a sudden change to the behavior, perhaps it was the result of a website update? Let's take a look at the JavaScript operating behind the form.


Test and Find the Problem in real-time

A quick inspection of the trial signup page in the browser editor reveals the problem. A JavaScript file was published with a typo, LastNaame should be LastName. Problem solved. This should be an easy fix for the team.


Test an Update in real-time

Once the update has been made to the JavaScript and the page re-published, the IT team can use the Instant sensor test feature in AlertFox to verify the fix solved the problem.

* Matt Cutts heads the Webspam team at Google. He works with the Search Quality team on search engine optimization issues.
Matt Cutts, “Google Incorporating Site Speed in Search Rankings,” April 9, 2010 .