Google employee, Matt Cutts, announced that a new ranking factor will be contributing strongly to Google’s algorithms sometime in 2010. The new ranking factor deals with how fast, or slow, a site loads.

Cutts explained that Google wanted searching to be fast and easy. To ensure this, Google will  rank faster web sites higher than sites that are slower. Cutts speculated that because there are over 200 ranking factors, page speed won’t be weighted too heavily, unless the site takes 90 seconds or more to load. However, keep in mind that users are more likely to stay on a site that takes less than 3 seconds to load, than a site that takes 10 seconds to load.

If you are worried about your site, or just want to check the performance level, download “Page Speed” (a firefox add-on). “Page Speed” will run multiple tests to help you identify the problem areas and provide suggestions to improve your site. This will help you make your site faster, increase the retention of your visitors and can even reduce your hosting costs.

Adam Jackson