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Google Makes Site Speed A Ranking Factor

Amit Singhal, Matt Cutts explain important change

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Website owners and bloggers, take heed: you don’t need to stop whatever you’re doing and eliminate all tools, videos, and pictures from your properties.  But as soon as it’s convenient, you may want to (re)check how quickly things load, because Google announced this afternoon that it’s begun to factor site speed into its search rankings.

GoogleWe hope this development hasn’t caught anyone by surprise; without citing specific dates, Google’s been talking about it for quite some time.  Also, in a new official blog post, Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts pointed out that site speed is perhaps something everyone should have been paying attention to all along.

Then here’s one more piece of info: according to Singhal and Cutts, this change was actually implemented "a few weeks back."  Sneaky.

Anyway, the pair of Googlers explained on the Google+Webmaster+Central+Blog%29″>Webmaster Central Blog, "Speeding up websites is important – not just to site owners, but to all Internet users.  Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.  But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs."

So if you want to pursue this matter, here are some free, Google-approved tools for checking site speed: PageSpeed, YSlow, and WebPagetest.  Plus, there’s a site performance lab among the other Webmaster Tools, and code.google.com/speed offers even more options.

We’ll say one more time, though: this doesn’t require anyone’s immediate attention.  Singhal and Cutts wrote, "While site speed is a new signal, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of a page.  Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point."

Google Makes Site Speed A Ranking Factor
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  • http://www.TheOkayNetwork.com Adsense Publisher

    I like how Matt Cutts says “currently” because he obviously expects it to effect more sites as they move forward.

    Only 1% of search queries?
    Doesn’t that mean millions of websites are in trouble?
    Doesn’t Google have visitors doing billions of searches every day?
    No wonder where the traffic is starting to shift to. Faster websites.

    I mean how stupid is Matt Cutts and his side kick there to say it’s not going to be much of a determining factor, when it’s quite obvious that it will. Matt said in not so many words, that if two pages have the same relevancy to keywords, page speed could be the determine factor in another video he made. Isn’t that pretty much the 1st page results everybody wants to be on?

  • http://niravpatelseo.wordpess.com SEO Expert Ahmedabad

    Hello Doug Caverly,

    This is really nice and informative post. Even i did think abt how to affect site speed on ranking factor. but after read this post i completely got’s you – thank you !!

    Adsense Publisher – regarding your comments, I just wanted to know every time its not possible that Matt Cutt is right, some time he will do mistake as he has common man like you and me and this all thinking are depend on Google database and Algo so we can guess what should be in next? but not say completely right – sorry for if you feel something wrong.

    Actually I am not on that stage where you and Cutt both are seating, but the main thing are common for all of us is that we all are in learning stage and ya we can say “THERE IS NO END OF LEARNING”

    Thanks,
    Nirav Patel
    DRAFTINGSimplified.com

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sachinguptaseo SEO India

    I have seen some change in google GUI on April-9, Now searching on Google is faster then pervious query result. But it is only showing only on .com not co.in, that I have feel Is that true?, Google made some changes after that PageRank updation on April-4?.

  • http://www.hargate-hall.co.uk Hargate

    I would agree that faster sites make happier users, and possibly mean better site design. But whether a site should load in 0.8 seconds or 1.2 seconds makes little difference to me when I am on the end of long low tech phone line and i actually takes nearly 5s!

    I assume however that if all site speeds were improved then that would free up some bandwith which would then help the network speeds overall.

  • http://libertywebmarketingandseo.com/ Scott@Waukesha Website Design

    Truly, it is about time that Google implements an incentive for webmasters to keep their sites running swiftly. Many sites are just bogged-down with java: ads, etc., and that can be very discouraging when the site has info that you want to view; not just simply visit…

    @Adsense Publisher:
    Do you think that perhaps your a little hard on the Google staff? They just pass on what gets passed on to them, and some times it may be old news in perspective of relevance vs. its first inception into the public forum…

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