Site Speed & Search RankingsAuthor: John | Filed under: Best Practices, Searcn Engine Ranking
You’ve no doubt heard the rumors and now you know it’s true: Google is using site speed as one of its over 200 factors in determining search engine rankings. Sure, we’ve all felt the frustration of waiting for a slow page – particularly if we’re using a mobile phone and all we want is the address of the place we’re going. On the other hand, there are sites that, for whatever valid reasons, load slowly. The webmasters of these sites are understandably unhappy about the new developments.
There are still several questions yet to be answered, including how Google will account for sites in other countries that only want to rank on their country’s version of Google and which may have slower load times in the U.S. Several users have complained that it is Google’s tools themselves (such as Google Analytics and Google AdSense) that slow their sites down, and they wonder whether having these Google features will end up penalizing their sites.
The truth lies somewhere between “We’re doomed” and “Hallelujah!” Google’s Matt Cutts says that fewer than 1% of sites will be affected by this new development. If you go to code.google.com, you can find several boots-on-the-ground ways of speeding up your site, all of which are Google approved.