Search giant Google announce page load times as ranking factor

12th April 2010

In this blog post Mark Cutts (The Principal Engineer at Google) has announced that page load times will now be added to the existing 200+ ranking factors that are already used at Google. However, at the moment only 1% of search results will be affected by the change. So why do we think that this is great news?

In short: It should help to improve the user experience on the web.

Throughout the lifetime of a website; from development to on-going monitoring and maintenance, page loads times should always be a factor; but not for the benefit of the search engines. Instead, the most important aspect of page load times is the user experience and we for one value this highly. Everyone at some point has closed the browser because the page was taking too long to load or left the website entirely in favour of another. In truth, page load times have a huge impact on shaping the traffic of the web so it makes sense to use it as a ranking factor.

The impact of this change is minimal at the moment but we could see its influence increase in the future.

Let's all look forward to a faster Web!

P.S. We think that google stands to save a LOT of money with page load times as a ranking factor. Reducing the size of web pages means less spider time and resources when crawling, as well as page and cache storage. Which could literally equate to millions!

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