Businesses seeking that all important high Google ranking may soon find themselves having to streamline their websites in a big way, if they want to keep up with the changes Google may soon be putting in place. Up until now, Google ranking has been based on a variety of factors, ranging from the amount of quality inbound links, to the trustworthiness of the domain. But now, it's looking like another factor may be looming large in Google's game plan: Page speed.
In a recent interview with WebProNews.com, Google programmer, Matt Cutts discussed the reasoning behind reengineering the search engine to rank, at least in part, according to speed.
"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," said Cutts. "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."
This new development is tied directly to the much talked about updated Google search engine known as Caffeine, set to be unveiled next year. It is expected to be faster than the current Google search engine, and will reportedly organize web searches using a completely different algorithm. This will very likely be where the alleged ranking by page speed will take effect. Obviously, optimizing your site speed is always a good idea for boosting your users and sales anyway, but if speed will indeed be a component in the upcoming Google Caffeine, then optimization may soon become crucial. Businesses looking to optimize for speed right now will only have a head start, if and when speed becomes a ranking factor.
Tools for Speed Optimization:
* Google's own Site Speed page (http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/index.html) is useful for identifying and fixing loading speed issue with your own site.
* Outside of Google itself, Yahoo also offers a great resource for information and explanations of speed optimization (http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html).
* Go here for more information on the book Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets (2008): http://www.websiteoptimization.com/secrets) .
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