In 2010, Google implemented a weighted signal that factored page speed into its search engine algorithms. Page speed is specified as:“the time from when a user clicked on the link to when the page was fully loaded”. Google didn’t reveal the specific math behind how important page speed is with regard to rankings, but according to the Google Webmaster Blog, it will be much less important than factors like topical relevance and reputation. It was a logical step, since faster loading pages allow for the user to reach their destinations that much quicker, and that is the essential purpose of Google’s search engine. The difference in speed between one site and the next may be a few hundred milliseconds, a tiny increment of time,but Google’s Web Search Infrastructure department places some importance on these incremental differences. When a user has to wait longer for a page to load, they have to wait longer to fulfill the purpose of coming to the website, so they spend less time absorbing what they came to see and moving on to the next search. Usersperforming 0.2% less searches may seem an acceptable margin at a glance, but when we consider that 3.5 billion Google searches are performed daily, the effected group becomes enormous. Essentially, speed matters to Google, so it should matter to those looking to use it as a platform to expand the reach of their site.
Here are a few tools recommended by Google to help analyze the speed of your pages, so you can make sure your ranking isn’t being negatively affected by time-consuming elements:
1. Yslow (http://yslow.org)
2. Web Page Test (http://www.webpagetest.org)
3. Google Page Speed Tools (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/?csw=1)