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Site Speed is a Ranking Factor (Now Officially)

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category Search Engine Optimization Search News

speed-ranking-factorGoogle announced months ago that they were going to introduce site speed as a ranking factor to their algorithm. This update has happened. Now your site's loading time is affecting your positions in the SERPs.

In their strive to make the web faster Google decided to give speedy websites a bit of a push in the rankings. So if you have a fast loading site you may get a little preference in the search results. Having a fast site is important not only for search engines but also for your users. If you haven't done it yet, you may want to test how fast your site is and improve your loading time if necessary.

If you have an account at Google Webmaster tools you can evaluate your site loading speed right there under Labs -> Site performance.

Site Speed

There you'll get a chart indicating the average loading time of your pages and how it compares to other sites on the Internet. You can track your site's performance over time and see how the changes you make affect your site's speed.

Knowing how your site loading time compares to the rest of the Internet is cool, but in terms of SEO you'll be more interested in how your site's performance stacks up to other sites in your niche and your direct competitors in particular. You can find this out with the help of Site Load Time Report in WebSite Auditor. The report shows you the loading time of your website and the 10 top ranked competitors for your targeted keywords. You can instantly see how your site's performance compares to the rival sites in the SERPs and decide whether you need to speed up your pages for SEO.

Although any change to the Google's ranking algo is big news for webmasters and SEOs there's no need to panic if your website is not the fastest out there. Site speed is only a minor factor that doesn’t carry much weight. In a blog post on Webmaster central Google says the introduction of site speed as a ranking signal affected less than 1% of searches. It's currently used only on and only for queries in English.

Chances are you may not even notice much of a change in your rankings. Still, however small of a ranking factor speed is, it’s an important element of user experience, so you should take the time to make sure your pages don't keep your visitors waiting.

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