Written by:2010/04/17 08:32 PM
You may have heard that Google want to factor site download speed into it’s PageRank. They say that they want the faster loading pages to rank better than other slower loading pages.
Speed is important but also relevant. If you have a 20mb connect to the internet, site speed might not factor into your irritation pool. But if you have a 56k modem, then it certainly might.
I’d be interested to see how Google will handle this. For example, Flash sites are notorious for slow start-up, as they load a fair amount of data first up.
What about the hops and path your site takes to get to a reader. You have no control over that. You might be going through some guys 1mb router that is overloaded. You might be hopping around the world where as it would be better to take a faster more direct route.
Then there is the backbone that you’re hosting on. You could be on a very slow network segment. You could be sharing a small bandwidth connection with many other bandwidth heavy websites. All sorts of factors affecting your speed, which are out of your control.
All these different variables, that might be out of your hands might be unfairly penalised.
Another factor is the incredible amount of multi-media available. No doubt , multi-media makes for a very interesting and engaging site. But lets face it. It does take a while to download that Flash banners or Flash menu. What about that video tutorial, or that podcast. As our broadband gets faster, so has our ability to present more to the reader. Will Google now penalise us for making our sites more interesting.
Yes, there are over 200 ranking algorithms and I doubt that page speed will be a high ranking factor. But my sense is that content should be more important than speed.
Maybe I should make my site a plain text site, that loads in 0.5s, with each page only three paragraphs comprising of three sentences each. Fast enough for you.
Yes speed is important, but users will soon bail if a site takes too long to load. But give them the chance to decide if the information is worth the wait.
What are your thoughts on this? I’d be interested to know.
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