In a recent Google Webmaster Help video, Google director of search Matt Cutts said that only one in 1,000 websites are negatively impacted by truly poor site speeds, but web administrators should still test to ensure their site operates optimally to maximize SEO.
According to Cutts, Google uses toolbar data to assess a website’s speed, and it will hurt a page’s SERP standing should the site be chronically slow. Brafton has reported that Google’s Page Speed Online tool can help marketers get a sense of their sites’ speeds. In general, Google has been aggressive about punishing websites that offer a low-quality user experience. This refers to every aspect of a page, including its load time, content and any other element.
Cutts said in this video that site speed affects few pages, but he reminded marketers that boosting performance always makes a product better, which will make the user experience better.
“We’re looking at what it looks like for real users,” Cutts said in the video. “If you have a lot of users that are having an overall slow experience then that could affect the overall rating.
“It’s always good to see if you can move a little bit faster and try to return results to users a little bit faster. It makes your users happier.”
Citing another video from Cutts, Brafton reported that the primary goal of Google’s SEO advice is to improve the overall user experience on the web. With this in mind, marketers should focus on creating relevant site content and optiminizing their search experience to see positive SEO results.