In a world where three seconds is a long time to wait for information to pop up on our phones, ESPN has one big thing going for it. According to a Google ranking, ESPN.com owns the single fastest load time of any site on Forbes’ Most Valuable Brands list.
Per MediaPost, ESPN.com users on mobile endure only a 1.4-second wait, which places the site ahead of Apple, Starbucks and other big-name brands.
Here’s the top 10:
- ESPN — 1.4 seconds
- Apple — 1.6 seconds
- Starbucks — 1.6 seconds
- Lexus — 1.8 seconds
- Zara — 1.8 seconds
- Chase — 1.8 seconds
- Amazon — 1.8 seconds
- Caterpillar — 2 seconds
- eBay — 2 seconds
- Rolex — 2 seconds
This ranking may not seem like a huge deal, but for a site that generates as much traffic as ESPN, the difference between a fast load time and a slow load time can be millions of page visits a month. According to Google, every second of delay in page-load time can cause a 20 percent drop in conversions, as users grow impatient or get distracted. Slow response can also deter users who consciously or subconsciously come to think of a site as being unpleasant to use.
Given that ESPN is one of the most trafficked sites on the internet, we’re talking about huge amounts of visitors who could be (but aren’t) turned away by lagging response on mobile.
ESPN chief technology officer Aaron LaBerge tweeted the MediaPost link Wednesday and declared that the site’s speed “happens because of the relentless focus and ingenuity of our product and engineering teams.”
Google ranked ESPN as the fastest mobile website on the Forbes Most Valuable Brands list. Only happens because of the relentless focus and ingenuity of our product and engineering teams — they're the best in the world. https://t.co/koUoXmE2E0
— Aaron LaBerge (@aaron) February 28, 2018
It’s somewhat interesting to see ESPN perform so well in mobile load time given how it has struggled over the years with its mobile app, which is not particularly fast and has faced numerous criticisms over the years about its functionality. You might think that if the company could master fast processing in mobile browsers, it could do the same for its app.
Regardless, ESPN has to feel pretty good about ranking atop a category as important as mobile load time.