Website Loading Speed – A New Google Ranking Factor

Google announced a new factor in ranking algorithms: website loading speed, which reflects how quickly a website display its content.

Speeding up a website is very important – not just for webmastesr, but for all Internet users. Faster sites make users happier, and studies show that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. However, faster sites not only improve the user experience; recent data show that improving site speed also reduces operating costs.

Users give a great importance for website speed, and because of this, Google has decided to take site speed into account when it comes to search rankings. Google uses a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.

If you are a webmaster, here are some free tools that can be used to check the speed of your site:

Page Speed – An open-source Firefox add-on that evaluates performance of web pages and offers suggestions for improvements.

YSlow – A free tool from Yahoo! that suggests various ways to improve website speed.

WebPagetest – Illustrates a graph-cascade loading speed of your pages, plus an optimization checklist.

In Google Webmaster Tools -> Labs> Site Performance is illustrated your site speed.

While the speed of the site is a new factor, it is not as large as the relevance of a page. Currently, less than 1% of search queries are affected by the speed factor, which currently applies only to visitors who are searching in English on Google.com.

We recommend you start taking into account the speed of your site (above instruments can provide an excellent starting point), not only to improve your site rank in search engines, but also, to improve the experience of your website visitors.