The Official Google Blog has made it official: “We’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed.”
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Posted by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer, Google Search Quality Team, the Official Google Blog explained, “Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.”
They added, “We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.”
If you are a marketer, site owner, or webmaster, there are some free tools that you can use to evaluate the speed of your site:
- Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives you suggestions for improvement.
- YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
- WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages’ load performance plus an optimization checklist.
- In Google Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world.
- And there are many other tools on code.google.com/speed.
- Learn how to make best use of these types of tools with our guide: 3 Tools for Optimizing Page Speed
“While site speed is a new signal, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of a page,” said Singhal and Cutts. “Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point. We launched this change a few weeks back after rigorous testing. If you haven’t seen much change to your site rankings, then this site speed change possibly did not impact your site,” they added.