Speed is of the Essence, but Relevency is still the King of the 200 (more common sense from Google)
A few weeks ago Google mentioned the fact that the speed at which a site loaded would have an impact on it’s rankings. As usual, SEO world goes into minor meltdown on forums etc., but the reality is just common sense.
In a nutshell, if you have two identical sites in terms of links, relevent content etc., then Google would favour the faster loading one. Why? Simply because it’s all about the user getting to what they need to get to as fast as possible. It’s about Google’s customer experience. Just like it always has been. So, is the loading speed of your site important? Yes, but it should be anyway. No-one wants a site that takes more than a few seconds to load. That’s why many of my sites are “lo-tech”.
Here’s Google’s Matt Cutts making it even simpler to understand:
So, speed is one of 200 other SEO factors. Our job as business owners is to “best guess” the importance of these other factors. And the best guess that works best for the majority of website owners is common sense: keep producing relevent, quality content, a good user experience, and attracting good quality links from other relevent, aged, authority domains. Most of the other noise around SEO is just that: noise.