Google tweaks search results with mystery site speedometer

Sun, 2010-04-11 10:43 by admin

Slow-to-loads get the drop

By Cade Metz in San Francisco
Posted in Music and Media, 9th April 2010 22:37 GMT

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Google is now using site speed—"how quickly a site responds to web requests"—as part of the criteria for ranking links on its world-dominating search engine.

With a blog post in December, Google seemed to indicate that such a change was in the cards, and the company formally announced the change on Friday with another post to its Webmaster Central blog.

"You may have heard that here at Google we're obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web," wrote Google Fellow Amit Singhal and, yes, principal engineer Matt Cutts, the man webmasters look to as the Delphic Oracle of search results. "As part of that effort, today we're including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms."

Site speed, the pair say, "reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests."

The change is meant to make the world a happier place. "Speeding up websites is important—not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we've seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there," the post continues.

"But faster sites don't just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed—that's why we've decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings."

But as you might expect, some webmasters aren't happy. "I do not think that this is a solid idea," reads one response to Google's post. "What about sites that post …"

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