Internet Security Blog - Hackology

Google Ranking is Influenced by Site Speed

Google announced that a website’s speed is now one of the many signal’s used to determine that site’s ranking in Google results. Google in their blog post suggests a couple of tools with which you can test your site speed – which they define as “how quickly a website responds to web requests” – including the Webmaster Tools → Labs → Site Performance app. (Ironically, some of the speed optimizations that app will suggest revolve around minimizing DNS lookups… caused by external resources like Google’s own Analytics tracker script.) Google Code Speed offers more resources.

On the surface this signal seems to make sense. In the hypothetical case where two sites are of equal quality in all points but one is slower, then it’s better for the user if they’re served the faster site on top of the rankings. It will save searchers time and avoid frustration. Then the real question is how strong this signal should be factored in the overall ranking mix… because in the opposite hypothetical case where one site is faster but delivers slightly worse quality, and another is three seconds slower but delivers great quality and perhaps makes its point 10 times as quick, users wouldn’t fare well being served the faster site on top. Google suggests that the speed signal is not a very strong one. It’s one of the “200 signals” affecting “fewer than 1% of search queries”, Google’s Matt Cutts suggests, adding “you don’t need to panic”.

There are webmasters who use the approach of preloading the website data normally it is used in image related website … e.g. a user opens one image the next in the gallery will be preloaded so that the user do not wait for the next image and so on. But this technique is considered as “Slow page loading” in the Google speed test therefore doing a bad impact on the Site ranking. In reality altough the page is not slow at all or maybe we can expect the google to be wise enough to understand such techniques which is yet not much known or expected out of Google.

As a side effect, Google’s announcement adds a more constructive field to SEO: optimizing a client’s site loading speed. SEO in a way was always about usability and accessibility and site quality… because unless you resort to spamming, improving your site’s quality should be one of the most important parts of getting more links to it, which increases your ranking. And a part of a site’s quality was always its serving speed. Google’s new statements just make this issue within the quality mix more explicit. One issue I wonder about though: if a site’s slowness were already causing it to get less backlinks due to its resulting lower quality, then wouldn’t it now be penalized twice by Google – once by the backlinks count signal, and once by the site speed signal? If we again take the hypothetical case of two identical sites where one is slower though – then wouldn’t the faster of the two sites already have a higher PageRank because people are more likely to link to it?

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So we can say in the end that “A slower website will have less back-links making it rank lower and lower ” that makes the Google PR system a bit unjust as it is driving two aspects for ranking the site which are inter linked.

There are many Possibilites why Google whould like to make Speed as a ranking signal. maybe they want the site owners to improve there website speeds OR may be….Google has made a decision to push sites in order to increase average internet speed, as an editorial judgment. This does raise some concerns: Even if we agree that a faster internet is good, should Google push this just because they can? If yes, how about pushing other issues that are considered good, say whether a company running a web site has a good recycling program? Is that Google’s job? Secondly, are there other ulterior motives for this, say pushing people in the direction of Google products such as their DNS optimizations and other web site software that will over time lock them in? … If we consider this as an option only then this makes some sense after all we know that Google is getting devilish with its intentions.


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  • Thought came to my mind …
    As Fadi is running Hackology on his servers at home which face problems like slower net and load shedding and more DNS hop’s on Ip updating making this site slow means it will go more down in ranking ?

  • well ,google is starting to suck.they 1st giving us gud services and aftr it will make such criteria as i shared above which will make ppl pay for there services to get on top.i thnk its time we leave google for nt that simple i guess

  • i told you a long time back that Google was getting evil =/

    even in the google’s official blog post, people were commenting mostly against this “feature”

  • Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

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