At PubCon, Matt Cutts from Google said there is strong lobbying in Google to introduce a new ranking factor into the algorithm. The new ranking factor has to do with how fast a site or page loads. Matt described this as one of his ‘what to expect in 2010? bullet points in his presentation yesterday evening in Las Vegas.
He explained that Google’s co-founders want searching to be real fast, as if you are flipping through a magazine. Part of this is making sure faster web pages rank better than slower ones. Matt explained that page speed is a factor in the search ad AdWords quality score and there is currently a strong push to make it a factor in the organic ranking algorithm. Matt basically implied that in 2010, it will be one additional factor.
Let’s keep in mind two things:
(1) There are over 200 ranking factors in the algorithm and each are weighted differently. If I had to guess, page speed would not be a tremendously weighed factor, unless the site takes 90 seconds to load.
(2) I monitor complaints from the AdWords (and organic) side of webmasters and virtually no one complains that their quality score is low because of having a slow site. I would have to assume the same speed criteria would be applied from the quality score page speed requirements to the organic side of things. So if advertisers rarely, if never, complain about it – one would assume non-advertisers would also not complain much about that as a reason for their site’s poor ranking.