It was only a few months ago that Matt Cutts put the record straight regarding website relevance or website speed for better search rankings.
Website speed is now being considered as a ranking factor for your website, however it does not carry as much weight as relevancy. Google as commented on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog that few than 1% of search queries will be affected and only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point.
Personally I think that it is fantastic that Google as added site speed as a ranking factor, even if it is only a minor factor. In the future it may gain more weight and sites that are built with nice clean code will be rewarded.
Free Tools To Evaluate Your Site Speed
- Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
- YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
- WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages’ load performance plus an optimization checklist.
- In Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world.
- Many other tools on code.google.com/speed.
- Site Speed, A Ranking Factor – Yoast
- Google incorporating site speed in search rankings – Matt Cutts
- Using site speed in web search ranking – Official Google Webmaster Central Blog
Other Helpful Resources
Photo Credit – NASA