Google Adds Site Speed To Web Search Ranking Algorithm
Google announced on its Webmaster Central Blog today that a site speed factor has been added to the company's web search ranking algorithm. This means that site speed is one of the many factors that may impact a site's performance on the company's search engine.
Site speed is yet another factor that webmasters have to take into consideration to make sure their websites rank well.
The information is - as always - rare at this point. According to the blog post the feature was enabled a few weeks back. It is currently only enabled on google.com and only for English queries on the search engine.
First results show (according to Google) that less than 1% of all search queries are affected by the site speed signal that the Google engineers have added to the algorithm.
Less than 1% might not sound like much but this actually means that about 1 out of every 100 queries are affected by the algorithmic change.
The blog post offers links to the usual tools that can help webmasters evaluate their site's performance.
Basic examples are to run fewer scripts, to compress certain types of data, or to make sure that images are optimized and in proper web formats.
The change leaves many questions unanswered.
- How does this affect sites with lots of contents or large files like photo hosting sites, gaming sites or sites with external scripts (advertisements for instance).
- How do webmasters know if their site's ranking has dropped because of site speed?
- What are acceptable values for site performance? The sub 5 second load time as is suggested in the Webmaster Tools Site Performance graph?
What's your opinion on the matter? Do you think this is a good change? I for one do not like it one bit as a webmaster, mostly because Google failed to reveal essential information.
What is certain however is that the move will speed up the web as a whole, and that is a good thing.Advertisement