We've all clicked back on our browsers before when the first result takes forever to load. Well no more. Google confirmed on their blog today that a site's performance can play a role in its rankings. Google's goal is to serve up the most relevant result to a query. Now it appears they want to get you in and out as quickly as possible. Maybe its time to take that horribly slow Flash intro off your site now?
Google shares some tools on their blog that help you test your site's performance. They include:
- Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
- YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
- WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages' load performance plus an optimization checklist.
- In Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world as in the chart below. We've also blogged about site performance.
- Many other tools on code.google.com/speed.
Before you go out and buy a second T1 line or a new server, consider less than 1% of queries are affected by the change at this point.
Mashable.com has a great post today that puts this concept in to a infographic format us visual learners can digest. This graphic shows the slowest sites among the Fortune 500, with larger logos indicating slower load times. The numbers are based on a report from Aptimize, who just released its 2010 Website Performance Benchmarks whitepaper.