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Load Time, Google's Next Ranking Factor?


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google At PubCon, Google’s Matt Cutts indicated that ‘load time’ may be another ranking factor to their ever growing list, when determining how websites rank in search engine results page (SERPs). “Historically, we haven’t had to use it in our search rankings, but a lot of people within Google think that the web should be fast,” says Cutts. Matt Cutts went on by saying “It should be a good experience, and so it’s sort of fair to say that if you’re a fast site, maybe you should get a little bit of a bonus. If you really have an awfully slow site, then maybe users don’t want that as much.” There are reportedly over 200 ranking factors in the current algorithm that are each weighted differently. My guess is that page speed will not be the highest ranking factor considered by Google, unless it takes an age for each page to load. However I do believe that people will start to look at the load times of their websites a lot more closely and try to shave of some load time. If you are a webmaster or manage SEO for a website and you haven’t thought about load times much in the past, it might be time for you to alter your way of thinking. With the release of the Google Caffeine update increasing Google’s indexing speed it would benefit you to think about improving your websites load time. How much importance do you believe Google will place on your site being fast? Will this new factor affect your site, or is speed something that you keep an eye on and optimise for already? Let us know your thoughts.
About Shivam Patel — Shivam Patel is a Senior Account Manager at iThinkMedia. Learn more about Shivam Patel on LinkedIn or follow him on twitter @Shivam_Patel.

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