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by Stephen Logan on 12th April 2010
Google has revealed that the speed with which a website loads is now to have a direct impact on its search ranking.
Fewer than one in 100 search queries are expected to be affected by the introduction of site speed as a weighting factor.
It is also deliberately made to have less of an impact than the relevance of the page to the query, meaning traditional SEO marketing services remain significant in achieving a top ranking.
However, Google fellow Amit Singhal and Google Search Quality Team principal engineer Matt Cutts write in a Webmaster Central blog post that optimising site speed can also help to reduce the cost of running a website.
For instance, they cite an article from technology news provider O’Reilly featuring Google statistics that show a delay of less than half a second in searches can have a long-term effect on the number of queries conducted per person.
Just 400 milliseconds can result in 0.59 per cent fewer searches being conducted per user, with a long-term reduction of 0.21 per cent in queries per person even if the delay is subsequently resolved.
"Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed – that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings," the Webmaster Central bloggers explain.