There was quite a discussion on our blog about the murmur and chatter about whether Google would truly begin ranking sites using speed as a basis for higher and lower rankings, with one of our clients feeling that until there was a definitive statement from Google one way or another it was all just speculation, and my own belief that the chatter was so loud that one could ignore it at their ranking peril.
We’d like to announce in this special weekend update..
Nyah Nyah! We were right!
Actually, we wanted to mention that yesterday, Google officially announced that it had added page speed to its ranking algorithm.
You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.
Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.
Now, before you panic, they also said:
While site speed is a new signal, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. 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.
So, at the time we wrote the article insisting that we felt felt they would do it, and that if they were they wouldn’t necessarily tell us, apparently they were doing it and they didn’t tell anybody.
We would just again like to point out we were SOOOO right about this one.
If you’re concerned about your site speed, you may want to read back over the last few weeks of articles and implement some of the suggestions or utilize some of the tools available to tighten your site up.
We’re taking the evening off to pat ourselves on the back.