12 April 2010
Google uses site speed in rankings (since exactly when?)
Google announced last week that site speed is officially used in their search rankings. It’s only supposed to be one of “over 200 signals” that they use, and obviously not close to as important as links and keywords. The official blog post from google says, “We launched this change a few weeks back after rigorous testing.”
I wonder if they were experimenting with this even earlier… Back in October 2009, I noticed that my rankings on Google for this blog had dropped back two pages. I also discovered that I had configured some database settings wrong, which made page loads way slow (slower than Blizzard can release SCII, BAM!) When I fixed the db settings, load speed went back to normal and my rankings jumped back to their original spots.
Of course this could all be a coincidence or maybe it was something related to me being in their sandbox, but check out this “Time spent downloading a page” graph from Google webmaster and see if you can guess when my rankings dropped and when they returned back to their original spots…