In April Google employee Matt Cutts announced is now incorporating site speed into their algorythm that determines search rankings. So, just how important is site speed to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing!?
Well, it turns out…not very. Matt, in his blog, said that the inclusion of site speed as a ranking measure should only affect fewer than 1 percent of current search queries. That doesn’t sound like a lot. So, should you worry about how fast your website loads?
When in a competitive niche you should ideally take every known ranking factor into consideration, including how fast or how slow your website loads.
It’s really not that hard. There are a few great tools for helping you with speeding up your website.
– Page Speed is an open source Firefox/Firebug plug-in that can be run to evaluate the performance of web pages.
– YSlow is a free tool from Yahoo! that offers ways to speed up a site.
These tools can help you diagnose potential issues and give you tips on helping to speed up your website. I also like to use a couple other tools like GTmetrix and whichloadsfaster.com which are pretty nifty also. I like to use whichloadsfaster.com to specifically test changes i’ve made on one site with an earlier version of that same site to measure how much faster my changes have made. It is also a good resource for testing how fast your website is against your competitor websites.
So, while page speed isn’t a huge factor in how highly a site ranks, using tools like ySlow and Page Speed can also help you to diagnose other potential issues your site might have (like page errors).
As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below or email Steffan