A report from StrangeLoop found that Microsoft's Internet Explorer is the fastest of the major web browsers.

StrangeLoop conducted a recent test of web browsers and ecommerce websites to gauge the average load time of the pages in different browsers. According to the test, Internet Explorer 9 is the fastest of the three most popular browsers, a list that also includes Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

The average load time for a website on IE9 is 7.12 seconds, while Firefox boasts a load time of 7.15 seconds and Chrome comes in at 7.5 seconds. Additionally, the study found that overall website load time has decreased 10 percent since the same analysis last year. According to StrangeLoop, web developers and search marketers are working aggressively to increase their site speed, with 2 seconds as the universal aim.

The decrease in page load time is promising, especially as websites themselves are increasingly large and complex. The average website contains 98 objects that must loaded, which represents a 13 percent increase from last year’s study.

“The key takeaway here is that the pursuit of faster websites is a never-ending race,” Jonathan Bixby, CEO of Strangeloop, said in a recent release. “As pages continue to grow in size and complexity, many site owners are barely managing to stay ahead. Newer browsers help somewhat.”

Marketers have been cognizant of the potential impact of site speed on SEO for some time. Brafton recently reported that slow website load time impacts just 1 percent of all searches. Still, Google distinguished engineer Matt Cutts has repeatedly said that businesses relying on SEO must ensure their websites load quickly and without error to maximize search performance and user engagement.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.