Site Speed and Loading Times
How Important is Site Speed?
At this point, the question becomes how important is load time. While increasing your site speed is really important and should be done for the user’s experience, it can also improve your conversion rate, this section will only look at how page speed affects SEO.
If we look at Google’s official blog post announcing site speed as a factor, we read:
“While site speed is a new signal, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal”
I think this means that site speed will affect only queries where other ranking signals are very close or when the load time is exceptionally poor. If competing pages have high relevancy scores and close link metrics (which isn’t probable), page speed may come into play. Additionally, I believe that site speed could negatively hurt you if your page takes an excruciatingly painful amount of time to load.
Matt Cutts was nice enough to blog about this topic when he was on vacation and added onto the above statement with:
“That means that even fewer search results are affected, since the average search query is returning 10 or so search results on each page.”
Basically, this isn’t going to shake up the top ten; when it is seen, it will probably be seen in keywords ranking much lower than the top ten.
Another nice webpage analysis tool can be found at GTMetrix.