Google today introduced a new signal in its search ranking algorithms: site speed.
Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests. Google claims that Faster sites create happy users and when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. In addition,improving site speed also reduces operating costs.
"That's why we've decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites," Google's team wrote at the company's blog.
While site speed is a new signal, it doesn't carry as much weight as the relevance of a page, Google added.
"Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point. We launched this change a few weeks back after rigorous testing. If you haven't seen much change to your site rankings, then this site speed change possibly did not impact your site," Google said.
Google encourages web masters to start looking at their site's speed not only to improve their ranking in search engines, but also to improve everyone's experience on the Internet.