We all know slow website load times causes lower conversions on your website (Duh, of course). But Google announced today that they are now including in their ranking algorithms your site’s speed! That means start kicking butt on your site speed, or you’re going to be ranked lower!

They included some great links on how to check your site load speed and also links that give suggestions.  Time to do a tuneup on your site!

New site speed algorithm for ranking posted on Google’s blog:

A post by the infamous Amit Singhal, Google Fellow and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer, Google Search Quality Team: “You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.

Graph showing lower site speed lowers conversion

Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.

If you are a site owner, webmaster or a web author, here are some free tools that you can use to evaluate the speed of your site:

  • 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.”

Get out there and fix it campers.

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  • Frank

    Reply

    Great article. I looked at some of the suggestions, and not being a techie, it looks like there are some things you need to get an expert to increase speeds.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  • This really is excellent information! Everybody should really be sharing data similar to this.


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