Your Site Speed to Affect Its Google Rank

Google LogoIf you’ve been paying attention to the world of SEO and the intersection with Google, then you may have heard a few months back that Google was considering using the speed of a site to affect a site’s rankings. Google has already factored in the speed of a site when considering its AdWords quality score.

On Friday, Google announced that it is now implementing site speed as a factor in organic search rankings. What this means is that if your site is an extremely heavy download or just takes too long to draw, then it may be penalized in the organic search listings.

While Google doesn’t explicitly define site speed, it’s safe to assume that it is a combination of overall page size (including files) and render time (including server response and time to draw the page). For those developers who seem incapable of posting anything smaller than a 1Mb image in the banner, or slimming down their HTML be removing all the extraneous cruft, this is motivation to start working on those optimization skills, even if their sites don’t feel the wrath of the penalty.

Some things to keep in mind:

Hopefully few of you are concerned by this. If you are following best practices, you are already striving to have your public-facing sites draw quickly. Not only does this do things like reduce the load on your servers, it also cuts down on your overall bandwidth costs. An additional advantage is that you don’t have to rely on your end user having a fast computer, lots of RAM (or swap space on the drive), and a fast connection. Given how many people surf in corporate environments that aren’t exactly cutting edge, this is just good practice.

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