As expected, Google has announced that site speed – how quickly a site responds to a request – has become a factor in where your site appears in the search engine’s results.
Google is aiming to reward sites that offer a better user experience, saying: “We’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.
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.”
The speed issue re-emphasises the need to ensure your site is built to the highest coding standards, and also shows the continuing way Google is shaping its search algorithm to reward usable sites – something that will continue to matter more and more in SEO. While the latest change to the algorithm will have only a minor effect overall, the move towards more intelligent measurement of user satisfaction by Google makes addressing all usability issues a more and more essential part of your overall SEO programme.
It also shows the importance of having a good hosting partner who offers superfast, low-latency hosting. Cheaper hosting – for this and many other reasons – can often end up costing you far more in the long-run than more expensive but higher quality hosting.