Have you ever considered how the loading time of your web pages might impact on your search engine rankings?

google-page-speed-serviceBoth Google and Yahoo! have commented on this issue recently, so it might be a good time to take a closer look at how long it takes your web pages to load.

Google’s position on the issue has always been that the time taken for a web page to load does not have any impact in their ranking algorithm until now! As part of their initiative to “Speed Up The Web“, Google have stated that page load times might possibly become a consideration in the future.

Google’s Matt Cutts has stated that, “We want the web to be faster and we want sites to load more quickly, so it’s very possible that, in the future, Google could consider rewarding fast loading websites, via improved search engine results.

Take a look at what Matt Cutts has to say about the topic below:

Another interesting development has come from Yahoo!, who recently filed a patent with regards to web page loading times.

Their Patent Abstract summary states the following:

“Methods and systems are provided that may be used to characterise in some manner the performance that a user may experience when accessing a web document.”

The patent application goes on to discuss establishing some kind of user experience information which could be used to rank search results. Obviously web page load time will play a big part in the user experience, so this would be a contributing factor.

The patent application states:

“For example, information relating to whether a user might abandon or wait for a web document to be displayed may be useful when establishing certain quality or relevance factors for the web document.”

As both Google and Yahoo! appear to be placing increased relevance on the issue of page load times, it might be a smart move to ensure that your website has been optimised to load as quickly as possible, ahead of any potential changes to the search engine algorithms. Your Web Site Designer should be able to help you with this.

Apart from helping to make your site more search engine friendly, any improvements in speed will definitely help to improve your sites appeal to your visitors as well as improving your Web Page Optimisation efforts.

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