Google is set to use site speed more prominently in its overall assessment of how websites will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs) according to a blog post published on Friday.
Its authors, Amit Singhal, Google Fellow and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer at Google Search Quality Team, say that Google will include site speed as a new signal in their search engine algorithms.
Improving site speed creates a virtuous circle; faster speed improves user stickiness, which in turn causes them to spend more time on the website as they hop from one link to another.
This not only drives traffic significantly up but also, according to Oreilly, reduces operating costs and the chance of them going elsewhere to get either services or news.
Currently Speed will only count towards a small percentage of search results. Both Google execs reckon that less than 1 percent at this stage and it will only apply to visitors searching in English from Google.com.
There are already questions however over the use of speed to determine whether or not a site should rank higher than another. Google is quick to point out that speed will never rank higher than the relevance of a page which forms the cornerstone of Google's Pagerank.