Google has officially declared a new factor into their search ranking: site speed. According to Google, site speed “reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests”. Speeding up your website is more important than ever. Google’s internal studies have shown that when a site responds slowly, visitors tend to spend less time there.
For these reasons, Google has taken speed into account for determining search rankings. For site owners and webmasters out there, Google provides a few tools to help you use website analytics to effectively test your site’s page loading time.
Page Speed is an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
YSlow is a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
In Google Webmaster Tools under Labs, Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world. The Performance Overview charts your website’s speed over the past year.
As part of the effort to continually improve user experience on the web, these tools will help to speed up your website and ultimately increase web traffic. Keep in mind that Google’s new implementation only affects searches done in English on Google.com for now – but as far as reputation management, Google highly recommends speeding up websites for you to enhance your ranking and to improve everyone’s overall experience on the web. Protect your online reputation and increase web traffic by providing the fastest site possible for your users.