In this article we will try to explain why the speed of your site is so important for Google ranking. Also we will quickly study which steps the Google corporation made in the past to make World Wide Web work faster and what we should expect in the future.
As you know site speed is a new signal for Google Rank algorithms. Google officially published it this month in the Official Webmaster Central Blog. It means that now your Google search rank depends on the speed of your site. In other words, the faster your website loads the higher your position in Google search will be, and vise versa.
Google says that currently, already 1% of search queries is affected by the site speed signal.
Past: What Google do in the past to improve sites speed?
Google tried to improve site speed in the past in a less radical way.
Perhaps, you remember Google WebAccelerator project that was closed some time ago (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/).
Google Web Accelerator was an application that uses the power of Google's global computer network to make web pages load faster. Now Google approach is completely different (and less expensive for Google Corporation :)).
Present: What to do now?
If you will check your Google Webmaster tools account, you will see something like this:
Look at the time load values. Any site should load in less than 1.4 seconds to be marked as FAST.
Google says that currently, only 1% of search queries is affected by the site speed signal. However, 1% of search queries is a rather big value, it is actually millions (or even billions) of queries per day.
The only solution for this situation is site optimization. It is highly recommended to do it as soon as possible.
Future: What we should expect?
The future is coming. Google finished testing of new search engine, with code name Caffeine.
The developers preview is already closed (http://www.google.com/errors/caffeine/unavailable.html):
We appreciate all the feedback from people who searched on our Caffeine sandbox.
Based on the success we've seen, we believe Caffeine is ready for a larger audience. Soon we will activate Caffeine more widely, beginning with one data center. This sandbox is no longer necessary and has been retired, but we appreciate the testing and positive input that webmasters and publishers have given.
SEO world is still waiting for the release of new Google Caffeine search engine, which will be twice faster than the old Google platform.