A week ago, Google announced a change to how its search rankings are calculated. This change will affect every business with a web presence. At the highest level, the change means that a website’s Google ranking will now be influenced by its speed. Faster websites now feature higher in search results, and slower websites drop down in the search results.
Google knows more about the search business than I do, of course, but I have to agree with the TechCrunch writer that this move is a little puzzling. While it would be nice for all Web pages to load faster, the Web is a heterogeneous place.
The writer cites the Web sites of local mom-and-pop stores, which are still likely to be your desired destination despite slow load times. I can think of a few other search queries that I wouldn't want influenced by page load times: when I was looking for grad schools, I wanted the school with the best program, not the one with the fastest Web servers.
On the other hand, if I'm searching for a current event such as the death of a celebrity, I might prefer the faster-loading pages, as I would expect the story to be much the same no matter where I read it.