Google will factor page load speed into search result rankings
Google sure seems hung up on the speed of the web these days, and I have to say, I like it. After announcing the SPDY protocol they're working on to speed up page loading time, it has come out that Google is seriously considering using page loading time as a factor when returning search results. This isn't some unsubstantiated rumor, either; it comes from none other than Matt Cutts, the high-profile Google employee who works on Google's web spam team.
Cutts said that the directive to speed up searching comes right from the top, Google's co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. According to Search Engine Land he said they want searching to be as fast as flipping through a magazine.
At first blush it seems counter to Google's accuracy goals to favor fast pages over slow pages when a slow page might be more relevant to a user's search, but I know that I have often not even bothered letting a slow page finish loading when I was busy searching for something specific. If Google can shield me from the slow sites, it will help me find what I'm looking for more quickly.
Of course, now I have to do something about the slowness of my personal blog. But I probably should have long ago.
[Photo by chrisscott]