Should I Be Obsessing About Load Times?

Google has announced that page loading time will now be included in the ranking criteria. As a consequence, a lot of SEO specialists are now obsessing over speed. A webmaster from Michigan is skeptical about this intense focus, though. He personally thinks that load times will have very little influence on the final rankings. Is this a correct assessment or should he be more worried like the other guys?


Matt Cutts says that this change is part of an effort by the company to promote better user experience. People don’t want to wait forever for a page to load so they are trying to encourage fast load times. Let’s assume that we have two identical sites with exactly the same content. However, one loads faster than the other does. All things being equal, Google will put the faster site ahead of the slower site in the rankings.


Yet this type of similarity is rarely seen in real life. There are a lot of differences between websites and Google has to factor those into the equation. Google considers over 200 signals for ranking. Speed is just one of them. Webmasters should strive to get a good balance instead of obsessing over a solitary factor.