A few weeks ago we reported that Google may be adding page loading speed as a ranking factor in 2010. They have now taken this a step further by adding a page speed report to their set of free webmaster tools.
To access the data, visit the labs section of your Google webmaster account and click on the site performance tab. You’ll now have a summary on the following:
- How long your webpage takes to load
- A graphical history of your website’s speed over the past few months
- How your load time compares to other sites
- Steps you can take to speed up individual pages
Here’s a screenshot of the tool from Google’s blog post:
Google says that the load time data comes from information sent by users of your site who have installed the Google toolbar and opted-in to enhanced features. This means its representative of a global average of real users, which is better than using a spider or robot to gather the data.
Aside from giving your site a little ranking boost, optimizing your page load times can improve customer satisfaction, clicks and even revenue. If you want to learn some other ways to speed up your site, take a read of our post from last week.