Google has recently revealed that at the beginning of next year they may be launching a new algorithm that will see the load time of a website become a ranking factor. Meaning a controversial move that would see pride of place being given to websites hosted on faster servers.
The proposal was unveiled by Google’s Matt Cutts last week, during which page loading time was included in a list of ‘things to expect in 2010.’ Matt explained that the loading time of a site is already a factor in Google Adwords advertising and that there is a strong desire to incorporate the speed of a site in Google’s organic search ranking algorithm and making it a quality factor.
Seeing as Google have over 200 other organic ranking algorithms being taken into consideration, which are changing all of the time, page loading time may not ultimately prove to carry a significant weight, and will probably only impact those sites that take an excessive amount of time to load. Nevertheless, loading time is a factor that site owners have some degree of control over and this decision may see users taking measures to ensure their pages are loading as quickly as possible.
This decision may provide a justification for webmasters to spend more money on larger hosting packages with hosting providers with high connectivity, or even move to a dedicated server . Although this would seemingly provide a “quick fix” site owners are being encouraged to put more of a focus on the quality of their dynamic pages and work to employ the best coding and SEO practices to produce fast loading, high-performance sites.