Google announced on Friday 9th April via its Webmaster Central Blog that website page loading speed is now to be factored into its search results and Pagerank.
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. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.
This is another win for web standards developers and their clients’ as fast page response and loading times are another benefit of lightweight, semantic code coupled with CSS for layout and styling.