Something that has been hinted upon for a couple years, was finally announced – Big G is working a penalty for slow load time into their algorithm. According to Google’s Webmaster Central blog, the penalty at this time is a minor one, and only affects:
- less than 1% of search queries
- only queries in English made through Google.com
As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.
It goes on to say that the penalty doesn’t count as much as “Relevancy of the page” – but what else does?
You can check your website’s load time at Pingdom.
Some tips to speed up web page load times:
- Reduce HTTP requests
- Combine all CSS files into one
- Use CSS Sprites to reduce number of background images needed
- Reduce the number of images on a page
- Optimize images to reduce their file size
- Use an Expires or a Cache-Control Header
- Use HTML and CSS over images where ever possible.