Will web page speed become a more important ranking factor?
Google’s Matt Cutts recently suggested that the speed of a web page may soon get more attention in Google’s ranking algorithm. It seems that Google focuses on fast websites to make the searching experience better.
What can you do to make your web pages faster?
Of course, you should start by choosing a reliable web host that has a good connection to the Internet. Your web server should be easy to reach and it shouldn’t have any down time.
In addition to choosing a fast web host, you can do the following to make your web pages faster:
* Combine external CSS files into one file and compress your CSS files.
* If your web server supports it, enable gZip compression (your web host can do that for you).
* Use as few images as possible on your website and compress your images. Most graphic tools enable you to choose the compression rate when saving an image for the web.
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While fast loading pages are good for web searchers, using the page loading time in the ranking algorithm can cause problems for smaller businesses:
* Businesses will be forced to choose a fast (and probably expensive) web host if they want to be found in the search results.
* People with a low income or businesses from a country with slow Internet connections won’t be able to compete with companies that have more money.
* Big corporations that have a very good connection to the Internet will have an advantage.
* The big websites will get bigger and the small websites will get smaller.
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The role of the page loading time in Google’s ranking algorithm isn’t clear yet so the above points are speculation at this time.
Optimizing the loading time of your web pages is a good idea, no matter how large the effect of loading time on your website rankings will be. The faster your web pages load, the more visitors of your website will be able to see the contents of your pages.
Web surfers are impatient people. The average web surfer wants immediate results. For that reason, your website should be fast loading and it should also contain clearly arranged content that makes it easy to read your pages.