Site Speed Officially Becomes Google Ranking Factor
Google have finally confirmed that site speed has become a ranking factor. On the Webmaster Central Blog, the search giant discusses why it is important that websites are fast, whilst also suggesting a few tools to help you track your speed.
As expected, their algorithm has been updated to incorporate this much-mooted change. This means that websites that are particularly slow may soon find that their rankings suffer as a consequence. Whilst this is clearly an important issue, it isn’t something that you need to be overly concerned with.
I previously discussed a few methods for getting your site up to pace with the competition in a post entitled, Improving Site Speed and Search Rankings. This should give you a push in the right direction when it comes to optimising for page load time. However, you don’t need to panic.
Whilst it is a ranking factor and is also an extremely important quality issue for users of the site, it shouldn’t make or break you. There are, after all, 200 individual ranking factors that Google use. They haven’t confirmed which of these are more important than others, but initial indications tend to suggest that site speed won’t be at the top of the pile.
But if you are in the process of optimising your site or are in the SEO industry, you can no longer leave site speed to chance. As with all ranking factors, it comes under the SEO banner now, so you have to be aware of how your site is performing at all times. This might just mean uploading a Webmaster Tools programme and tracking your status or using other free software that is available online.
So if you want to make sure that you keep up to speed with your competitors and ensure that your search engine rankings don’t suffer, you need to be aware of page load time. With Google incorporating it as a ranking factor in their algorithm, there’s no excuse to be overlooking it any more.
Make sure you take the time to look out for site speed. It could well earn you a ranking or two.