A little while ago on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google announced that speed is now becoming one of the metrics they utilize in their search ranking algorithms. In justifying their move Google says:
Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.
Which is great for companies like Aptimize who help companies speed up their website – with this announcement I can imagine an entire new generation of services springing up – like the SEO services of today perhaps tomorrow will see a plethora of website speed improvement services on offer.
Google themselves came in for some criticism in the comments to the post – many people complained that Friend Connect and Analytics slow websites significantly – either way this move will see people concentrate more on their site speed along with its usability.
And, in the process, Aptimize might just make their secondary aim, the one about the money