Is Speed a New Factor In Google Rankings?
Over the past several months, a consistent theme that Google has been involved with is that of speed. In announcement after announcement, Google has talked about the importance of speed on the web, and how the company wants to do everything it can to make the web a faster place. It may soon be the case that how fast your page loads may have a direct effect on how your site ranks in Google.
In a recent interview, Google’s Matt Cutts said this:
Based on Matt’s comments, it’s probably fair to assume that Google will begin taking page speed into consideration as a ranking factor, although he doesn’t come right out and say that definitively. However making your site faster is going to benefit your users and possibly your sales anyway, so optimizing it for speed is probably a good idea anyway. Then if Google really does start using this as a ranking factor, you’ll be pre-positioned to retain or improve your rankings.
“Historically, we haven’t had to use it in our search rankings, but a lot of people within Google think that the web should be fast. It should be a good experience, and so it’s sort of fair to say that if you’re a fast site, maybe you should get a little bit of a bonus. If you really have an awfully slow site, then maybe users don’t want that as much.”
Google is usually pretty good at providing webmasters with tools they can use to help optimize their sites. Google recently announced a Site Speed site, which provides webmasters with even more resources to help speed up their pages.
Speeding up a web site isn’t something most of us are equipped to do, so your webmaster is the one to talk with about this. It’s a good idea to check out your site speed, though, so you know if it needs work.