Google is God when it comes to search – more than 70% of traffic to majority of blogs / sites comes from Google. Most of you know than Google has around 200 parameters on which it ranks a particular webpage.
It has now added one more parameter that will determine where your site is placed in search rankings – Site Speed.
We have been hearing about google making noise about site speed for quite sometime, and hence it included features like “site performance” in Webmaster tools to benchmark your site speed. Google has also released a firefox addon called “page speed” which will evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
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.
This announcement is first sign of things to come – Although, currently this change will affect around 1% of all the search queries, over coming months and years this percentage is going to increase for sure.
This is an especially important announcement for bloggers, who use CMS like wordpress to publish their blogs. Many times in bid to add new functionality (through plugins or modules) to your blog, the blog speed is compromised that could cost you site the your search rankings.
If you have not already, it is high time to look at your site speed in the bid to retain your Google ranking position. If you are a site owner, webmaster or a web author, here are some free tools Google suggests that you should look at:
- Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives 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 Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world as in the chart below. We’ve also blogged about site performance.
Note: Would love to know form readers as to what do you think is a good benchmark speed for page load. Trak.in takes about 5-6 seconds to load on average – what about your site?