Well its official, Google will be incorporating site speed into its indexing algorithm. This news comes for the horses mouth Matt Cutts personal Blog. Matt said while on holidays “but I know that a lot of people will be interested in the news that Google is incorporating site speed as one of the over 200 signals that we use in determining search rankings. I wanted to jot down some quick thoughts.”
He went on to say “The main thing I want to get across is: don’t panic. We mentioned site speed as early as last year, and you can watch this video from February where I pointed out that we still put much more weight on factors like relevance, topicality, reputation, value-add, etc. — all the factors that you probably think about all the time. Compared to those signals, site speed will carry much less weight.”
So its true and now we have another stupid optimization chore to consider, website load speed. It never ends.
I wouldn’t say I am an expert search engine optimizer, but I am a little bit better than average. Site speed (the time it takes for your web page to load) hasn’t been given much of a consideration in the past. As a web designer the time a web page loads has only been considered as a traffic generator. But that is just about to change. The skills I learnt as a web designer will now come into play as a search engine optimizer.
So to all my loyal followers out there, take it from me Matt has just told us something that most of us have suspected would eventually happen. Now is the time to take site loading speeds seriously. Which I believe will change the landscape of how websites will be presented.
Think about it! If Google is going to penalise us if our websites take forever to load, wont it drive some webmasters to cut down on what they provide to their visitors. Will webmasters when considering site speed decide that adding an extra video to a post or adding a large graphic will cost them as far as Google is concerned? Will websites become less interactive than they are now because frightened webmasters are too scared to add this quality content because it might take a millisecond longer to load and Google may notice.
Don’t get me wrong, I think site speed is well overdue and Google wants to provide the very best content to its users. But I think a large section of seo savvy webmasters will take this way too far and start providing fast web pages but with a lot less content. I hope Google allows for this and doesn’t penalize webmasters willy nilly.
You can see the whole post by Matt Cutts here: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/site-speed/
Here is the official mention on Google’s Blog: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/04/using-site-speed-in-web-search-ranking.html …or read another Post about Google Friendly Web Page Load Speed