Google, as the unquestioned market leader in internet search, is a subject of constant and involved scrutiny for search engine optimization (SEO) professionals. The world of SEO, therefore, has paid close attention to indications that the search giant will begin considering load speed as a factor in its ranking of search results.

Patrick Altoft, writing at search site Blogstorm, says that a recent interview of a Google software engineer contains clear hints that the company is planning to implement the changes. Patrick Cutts told WebProNews that "if you’re a fast site, maybe you should get a little bit of a bonus. If you really have an awfully slow site, then maybe users don’t want that as much," according to Altoft.

Direct Traffic Media, an industry news site, says that Google already uses a similar rating system with its AdWords paid search product, giving higher quality scores to quick-loading sites. Experts agree that this is a hugely important consideration for future search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Google’s increasing emphasis on internet speed has seen a number of incarnations recently, most notably with its announcement of a new SPDY internet protocol intended to streamline website access.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.