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Is Page Speed A Google Ranking Factor?
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While there had been previous mentions about website speed becoming a ranking factor, it wasn't until Google set out in a blog post entitled "Using website speed in web search ranking", dated April 9, 2010, that we received confirmation that it had actually been implemented:

As part of that effort, today we're including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: website speed. Website speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.
The terminology used here is quite interesting. They could have said "the time the website takes to load", but they chose the wording carefully to indicate the response to the request. We suspect from this that they may just be recording the time to first byte, i.e. the time it takes for your browser to start receiving information from the server after first making the request from the browser. This would make sense as it would be something their web crawler could easily measure at scale. We revisit this point further in the next section.

In the original post, Google quoted internal studies confirming research that shows that when a website responds slowly, visitors will spend less time on it. In addition, faster websites can reduce operating costs.

They state that they use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a website relative to other websites, and then list some free tools that can be used to evaluate website speed. You can view our detailed and more up to date post on measuring the speed of a website here. In that post we also discover why speed test results should not be interpreted too literally, as some measures to speed up your website can create false negative flags on some of these tools.
  


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