November 16, 2009 – Google currently takes into account over 200 factors in their algorithm to determine the relevancy for any web page. While that might sound impressive, the search engine giant is considering adding another factor into the equation — page load speed.
That’s right, Google may soon start looking at how long it takes a web page to load when qualifying its relevance, meaning pages that load faster would hypothetically rank higher than similar, but slower loading web pages. Of course nothing has been confirmed yet, but Matt Cutts gave a speech at PubCon that alluded page loading speed could be a factor in Google’s organic search results in 2010.
It’s also important to note that even if and when this change goes into effect, it is unlikely that web page loading speed will be included among the most important search engine ranking factors; however, it should still give some incentive to website owners to make sure their websites are running in tip top shape and loading fairly quickly. Even if Google doesn’t change their algorithm to include web page loading speeds, a slow loading page can still negatively impact your bounce rate and overall user experience.
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