Google is officially using site speed as a ranking factor

Google is officially using site speed as a ranking factor

By Sadie on April 13, 2010

fast website

As a Manchester SEO company it is important to keep ahead of changes Google is implementing into its algorithms for ranking, and on Friday Google officially announced they would be introducing site speed as a ranking factor.

This does not come as a surprise to the team at SEO creative who last year reported suspicions that Google would use site speed as a ranking factor.

Everyone has been getting very excited by this official release on the Google webmaster blog, but really it has been a long time coming. Google is a big business! They have their own reputation to uphold for showing good relevant websites and everyone knows slow sites are really bad to use! A slow website is one of the 7 sins of website usability so if it means webmasters sit up and take notice when Google says it then great!

Really, any good website designer and SEO will have already made sure their clients website is running quickly, if it means your client has to invest in a better server then so be it. With website design and SEO you should always make sure the site is good enough to convert, and anyone clicking on a slow site usually gets frustrated and clicks off!

Google’s reasoning behind this move makes sense, as slow sites are annoying, and if they don’t use this as a ranking factor there is a chance they could lose a proportion of the market share. More importantly crawling slow sites puts a strain on their own servers, and although it has never been official, most SEO’s were always aware that Google would spend more time on a website if it loaded quicker, this is more time crawling relevant content and increasing the chances of ranking.

This official release is quite surprising as Google likes to keep everything hush hush, but by releasing this information (before a big update I would assume) means more website owners will use this as the push to improve their website load time. This could be by optimising content, cleaning up the code, or improving the server. All in all this will make the internet a much nicer place to browse.

Take a look at Fresh Egg’s write up by Jaamit Durrani, for a nice no frills summary of site speed and SEO. This is a good write up on how site speed will affect SEO and has sparked some interesting comments already!

At the end of the day this is good for SEO, and the internet, but will make very little difference to other optimisation methods, as there are a lot more factors to consider before you will achieve good rankings for your keywords.