Google To Rank Sites Based On Speed? Matt Cutts Explains

by Klaus on November 17, 2009

in Google, Search Engine Optimization, Tech News

Matt Cutts, Google Webspam team

Matt Cutts, Google Webspam team

Over the past week I’ve answered a few questions in the comments here at TechPatio, asking if the speed of a website has anything to do with how it will rank in Google.

My responses were, basically, “no, I don’t believe that is the case”.

With the recent comments from Matt Cutts, “the face of Google”, I’m even more certain that the speed of websites does not have anything to do with how you rank in the search engine result pages (SERP). Obviously, if your site doesn’t load at all, you might suffer. But whether it loads extremely fast or just like any other web page, shouldn’t matter, really.

Here’s the quote from Matt Cutts video interview on WebProNews:

“We’re starting to think more and more about should speed be a factor in Google’s (Google) rankings?

…A lot of people within Google think that the web should be fast, it should be a good experience; and so it’s sort of fair to say if you’re a fast site, maybe you should get a little bit of a bonus. Or maybe if you have a really awfully slow site, users don’t want that as much.”

If speed was already taken into consideration when determining your (page)rank, why would Matt say “we’re starting to think more and more…”?

Mashable came up with 3 reasons for ranking fast sites higher and 3 reasons against – go check’em out!

Personally, I can understand where Google is coming from with this and why they would want to do it. But I fear that the “little guy” with a cheap shared hosting plan would be in for an even tougher battle against the big boys.

What do you think – should Google give a higher ranking to websites that loads faster? Chime in, leave a comment below!

Comments & Leave a Comment

comments

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan November 17, 2009 at 04:34

I would hope not. Even as a user, when I search for content, I want the most relevant content, not the content that loads a second faster. As I site owner, I don’t want to see a “pay to play” situation, where a site owner can basically buy a better ranking. Content should be king.
.-= Evan´s last blog ..Dragon Age: First Impressions from a PC Gamer and a Console Gamer =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 17, 2009 at 10:04

Well said – I hope Google will listen to your thoughts before they decide to go ahead with this 🙂

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Ruchi November 17, 2009 at 07:04

This will be very interesting if Google starts ranking sites based on speed, let see how it goes.
.-= Ruchi´s last blog ..Is Excessive Blogging Hurting your Relations =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 17, 2009 at 10:06

Hi Ruchi – nice to see you here again! Yes, it’s indeed interesting, but as Evan points out, it might open up for a “pay for ranking”-possiblity and I don’t think Google is going to be that stupid.

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izzat aziz November 17, 2009 at 09:02

so small timer blogger who use shared hosting might always be in losing side compare to dedicated server by problogger.. i think it not fair.. need more consideration in it i guess..
.-= izzat aziz´s last blog ..7 Characteristic of entrepreneur that blogger should have =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 17, 2009 at 10:06

That’s exactly the point! Well, we must wait and see till more information appears.

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Phaoloo November 17, 2009 at 10:23

In case we don’t care about Google PR, we should care about what readers think: will they wait for us? The answer is absolutely a big NO! Like the link on Mashable, thanks for that 🙂
.-= Phaoloo´s last blog ..12 Best Tools To Find And Manage Proxy Servers =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 17, 2009 at 10:28

Of course not, they won’t wait 🙂 But as long as the page loads in a timely fashion, it shouldn’t be a problem. Only the Swedes with their Billion Mbit internet connections that want everything to load in a flash 😀

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George Serradinho November 17, 2009 at 11:59

I think Google would make a terrible mistake if they ranked sites based on loading speed. That would put a lot of sites down and thats not what a search engine should be doing.

I feel that content counts more than speed. Because of the bandwidth situation in South Africa (+-4mb), some sites do take longer to load here, but those same sites load faster around the world.
.-= George Serradinho´s last blog ..Serious Monday Roundup #17 =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 19, 2009 at 22:25

It’s exactly the same here in Malta. Some sites load fast, even in the US, while others can be slow – it really depends on the “mood of the island”. Nothing is certain here.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..How To Use Facebook To Fake An Alibi =-.

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JDM Engines November 18, 2009 at 01:00

This is all the more reason to write XHTML compliant websites. Nested tables and improperly written source code leads to longer page load times, truncating images in HTML is just not proper either, which XHTML compliance will do very little for SEO, it will help out with speed, and ensure that your page loads properly across all platforms. Just my 2 cents.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 19, 2009 at 22:26

You’re probably right about XHTML, but I still don’t think its fair to punish all the great older websites out there, that’s not being updated anymore but are still in use, for not being built with XHTML.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..How To Use Facebook To Fake An Alibi =-.

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Tinh November 18, 2009 at 04:25

I think it is only reconfirmation as it has been applied for a quite long time now. However, official is always the best way to do something 🙂
.-= Tinh´s last blog ..Join Ad.ly Referral Program and Win a Macbook Pro! =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 19, 2009 at 22:27

Tinh – you really think it has already been in place? I doubt it. Of course if your website is much slower than within the average, then it might have an influence.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..How To Use Facebook To Fake An Alibi =-.

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Alan @ Basin Glass Co. November 18, 2009 at 04:35

I think speed will be less of an issue as technology keeps expanding and developing. More and more people and ISPs are getting faster connections and servers are becoming more advanced. However, I have always been curious about the topic because, if I’m not mistake, Google Webmaster tools actually does show the average load time of your pages so you know Google is keeping a log of it.
.-= Alan @ Basin Glass Co.´s last blog ..Can’t get enough of Linux =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 19, 2009 at 22:35

You’re right Alan, Google Webmaster Tools does actually display the average load time of your site, “Time spent downloading a page”, but I’m not too sure they actually use it for ranking (unless your page is sooooo slow).
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..iPhone iPod Bug & How To Fall Asleep Fast And Efficient With Megan Fox =-.

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Michael Aulia November 18, 2009 at 05:15

I hope not, because lots of crappy and spammy sites are using the default theme with white background. full of adsense ads.
This will make them appear on the first page even more 😀
.-= Michael Aulia´s last blog ..Backing up with HP Simple Save =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 19, 2009 at 22:38

Good one Michael, you’re right 🙂 Google can’t possibly think that’s a good idea!
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..How To Use Facebook To Fake An Alibi =-.

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chandan November 18, 2009 at 06:54

Yes if google rank based on speed then it will something interesting. Lets see what happen.
.-= chandan´s last blog ..What can you expect by doing work from home? =-.

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Sire November 18, 2009 at 14:23

Personally I think it sucks. What the hell has speed got to do with the quality of information. I though Google was more about linking people with the information they are looking for and not with the speed of a site.

Anyway, it’s pretty irrelevant because the normal searcher wouldn’t have a clue as to what PR is. The only ones that care are SEO gurus and bloggers and webmasters that are trying to raise their PR.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Comments, The Lifeblood Of A Blog =-.

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Extreme John November 19, 2009 at 02:02

I would have to agree with Google on this, I want the fastest web possible. I have zero patience for sites that take forever to load, especially when I am going through my reader. HATE IT.
.-= Extreme John´s last blog ..9 Blogs I Found on Blog Engage =-.

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Sire November 19, 2009 at 06:33

What if they don’t take forever John, but are slower most? How do they grade a blog’s speed?
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Keyword Abusers Force Comment Policy Change =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio November 19, 2009 at 22:39

I think both of you (John & Sire) makes some interesting points. I want the fastests web possible too, but for me, it’s more important with the quality of the content, rather than getting crap content fast 😀
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..How To Use Facebook To Fake An Alibi =-.

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Sire November 19, 2009 at 23:16

Yeah, I think we are on the same page Klaus. John, being a Yank and all, just tends to get a little impatient 😉
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Keyword Abusers Force Comment Policy Change =-.

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DiTesco November 20, 2009 at 01:10

I am not sure if Google will or will not consider page speed as one of their ranking factors, although I usually pay attention to what they are saying. I agree with you that if your page does not load at all then you have a problem that should be addressed not because of Google but simply for everyone, including your visitors. We’ll see in the future, page speed will probably play a role even if just a little bit.
.-= DiTesco´s last blog ..Make Money With Google – Increase Your Earning Potential With Ad Planner =-.

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monika@website design manchester November 24, 2009 at 09:25

FOR GETTING GOOD PAGE RANK ON SEARCH ENGINES IT IS NECESSARY TO OPTIMIZED YOUR WEBSITE.I AGREE WITH SIRE SPEED IS NOT NECESSARY FOR PAGE RANKING ITS ALL ABOUT QUALITY.WELL THANKS TO YOU FOR SHARING THIS GREAT ARTICLE WITH THE READERS.

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Kim Ramsey November 24, 2009 at 14:25

Who trusts Matt anymore anyway?
And I believe speed was always a factor in their ranking algorithm. Just as Matt explained, it makes sense to use server reliability and speed to determine how serious a webmaster is about his business/website.

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Thai Food January 12, 2010 at 11:28

I don’t think speed will effect the raking. Because your site load fast then it will rank higher.

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Dwippy January 25, 2010 at 23:15

I think speed SHOULD be a factor. If the little guy on shared hosting would do away with 90% of his pretty graphics he’d probably be able to compete.
.-= Dwippy´s last blog ..Comment Surfing =-.

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