A few weeks ago one of our SEO team members wrote a great blog post about how Google may soon be including web page load time as part of their ranking algorithm. As mentioned in the blog post, Google has provided a site dedicated to providing information about improving a site’s speed: http://code.google.com/speed/
Just this week we are seeing that Google is making another step toward helping webmasters improve the speed of their websites. In Google Webmaster Tools under Labs, there is now an experimental section called Site Performance. This new addition to Webmaster tools shows webmasters on average how long it takes their pages to load, how that compares to other sites, and how the load time has changed over time through a trending graph. An example of this graph is shown below.
Other details provided in this section are example pages from the website and the time that it takes those example pages to load as well as suggestions of how to optimize those pages based on the Page Speed tool. Within the Site Performance section, webmasters can also download the Page Speed tool to help optimize their site for improved speed, which ultimately leads to a better user experience.
Its important to note that this data is an average and the load time of a website’s pages can vary based on a user’s location and network conditions.
As Google is trying to make their search engine as fast as possible, it is critical that webmasters evaluate and pay attention to the time it takes pages to load, and this new Site Performance section makes it much easier to monitor.