Google has recently leaked its plans to include a site’s response time as a factor in its ranking algorithm. Therefore 2010 will be a decisive year for many sites when they will be required to monitor and improve their web performance, ie response time and maximum capacity, or be left behind.
A web site’s performance, ie response times and load times, has not been a priority area for site owners. They have an SLA agreement and a hosting provider, and it “should just work”. Google’s decision to consider the response time of the pages may change this view. Web Performance will become a strategic competitive advantage, where customers are won and kept through a site that can provide the visitor with the best user experience.
Google’s decision should be seen as part of a strategic change to give the customer the best possible experience and not just to generate as much search traffic or leads as possible. Internet marketers have been optimizing and maximizing their online advertising and search presence for a long time. In the future this will not suffice – the winners will be those who convert their traffic better and can give their visitors the very best service experience. And perhaps the most important component of this experience is how quickly the site’s various pages load.
“Google’s new approach is a step in the right direction and a major acknowledgement of the role of the response times in the overall web experience. The tools that Google recommends focus on code optimization on each page, which is an important part, but definitely not the only one, of a web page’s performance. Our methods are focused on handling the complexity of today’s sophisticated Web sites. Dealing with software, hardware, third-party content, network capacity, and working methodically with a long-term focus to manage and eliminate bottlenecks“, says Sven Hammar, CEO Apica.