Google have given webmasters a strong indication that the speed of your website may become an organic ranking factor in 2010!
Here’s what Google’s Matt Cutts has to say on the issue:
“Historically we haven’t used 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 fair to say if you’re a fast site, maybe you should get a little bit of a bonus, or if you have an awfully slow site, maybe users don’t want that as much.”
Google already considers page load times as part of the AdWords quality score, so it’s a logical step for this to be included in organic listings too.
While it’s unlikely to have a huge impact on rankings (there are over 200 other factors) it would be a smart decision to prepare for its introduction ahead of time and get your site loading as fast as possible. Here are a couple of tools which can help you get started:
- Google’s Page Speed Tool – This is a firefox plugin from Google that enables you to see which areas of your site need improvement.
- WebPageTest.org – Another speed tool which provides optimization recommendations and other interesting stats.
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