Early last year, I wrote about how Google AdWords Quality Score uses page load as a basis for scoring. Loading time obviously affects user experience and a slow loading web page could mean a crank web infrastructure or a poorly maintained unstable website.
Such paid search factor may also be included in evaluating pages for organic search engine results. Matt Cutts has admitted that it’s currently not in Google’s algorithms but it could well be incorporated on its test runs. Google prefers users access fast loading web pages and accomplish things faster than on slower pages.
Slow pages are characterized as those that have multiple images loading, large Flash movies embedded or simply hooked to a substandard web host provider. It could also be possible if the site has lots of add-ons like Google Maps with multiple mashups. So it’s important that web pages don’t overdo the purpose of a page; leave the extra content on another page if irrelevant to current page.
How do we test speed of our website? Google suggests the Page Speed Firefox add-on which helps identify loading factors and correct them, and make websites load faster for better user experience.
I think even if page load is not a Google algorithm factor, getting our pages optimized for faster loading is a must.
Photo credit: silvery