Internet marketing resources, ecommerce web site design tutorials and  just for fun - free cell phone ringtones!
  Taming the Beast - quality web marketing and ecommerce development services

Site speed now a Google ranking factor

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday April 10, 2010 )

Google has announced that it is now taking into account site speed in its search ranking algorithms.

This hasn’t happened without warning. Back in November last year, I mentioned Google was considering site speed as a new signal to factor into search rankings.

Google says faster sites create “happy users” and according to its own studies, when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.

Page load times have been a factor in AdWords prices for quite a while, with slow loading sites affecting quality scores and therefore also increasing the click price an advertiser has to pay.

The company says it will be using a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.

Formally announced yesterday, the new signal has actually been in operation for a few weeks, but the company says fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by its inclusion so far. Site speed only applies to visitors searching in English on at this point in time.

Google says site speed isn’t anywhere near as important as page relevance and if site owners haven’t noticed any change in rankings in the last couple of weeks, they are likely not affected.

The wording of the announcement has generated a lot of questions and concern. For example, does it mean sites heavily dependent on photos will be penalized? Will off-page factors play a role; e.g. if your site is stored on a slow server, will it suffer? The latter being the case, I can imagine web hosts notorious for slow server response times are going to see an exodus of customers.

Google using the speed factor in ranking to help support faster web surfing experiences isn’t a bad thing in my opinion – it’s been a pet peeve of mine for years that as connection speeds have increased, some developers have seen it as an excuse to make more complex pages that load as slowly on broadband as they did on a dialup connection. Often advertising is to blame, such as those bandwidth sucking, CPU hogging Flash ads.

Pick up some page speed optimization tips.


Comments for Site speed now a Google ranking factor

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.