Google has updated its search algorithm so that it will begin to filter web searches by a site’s loading speed.

According to Google principal engineer Matt Cutts, the new signal won’t make too much of a difference, though, claiming fewer than 1 percent of search queries were affected by the change. Cutts says that the new signal carries less weight than page relevancy, which is one of the biggest factors in determining a site’s standings in the search results.

Google recently conducted an experiment, in which it deliberately slowed the delivery of search results to the user. The experiment found that the longer a website takes to display, the more dissatisfied a user becomes. Cutts cites this experiment as one of the reasons that the company decided to put more weight on a site’s loading speed.

"Faster sites create happy users," said Cutts.

Google encourages site owners to streamline their site’s loading process, citing benefits for both search engine optimization (SEO) and end user satisfaction.

For those that specialize in search engine optimization (SEO), this latest addition to Google’s search algorithm adds yet another aspect to take into consideration when optimizing a website.

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.