Friday, March 26, 2010

Page Speed

I just downloaded and installed Page Speed which is an open-source Firefox/Firebug Add-on (note, if you do not have Firebug Add-on installed the Page Speed Add-on will not work). With Page Speed I can evaluate the performance of my client’s’ web pages and I’ll receive a set of scores for each page, as well as helpful suggestions on how to improve its performance which I can send to my clients on how to improve their pages.

What’s the big deal about speed, right? I have two words for you, Matt Cutts. Let me share with you a couple of quotes from a series of interviews he did with WebProNews.

The first quote, "I think a lot of people in 2010 are going to be thinking more about 'how do I have my site run fast,' how do I have it be rich without writing a bunch of custom javascript?'"

The second quote, "No. Relevancy is the most important. If you have two sites that are equally relevant (same backlinks...everything else is the same), you'd probably prefer the one that's a little bit faster, so page speed can be an interesting theory to try out for a factor in scoring different websites. But absolutely, relevance is the primary component, and we have over 200 signals in our scoring to try to return the most relevant, the most useful, the most accurate search result that we can find. That's not going to change."

Now that I’ve peaked your curiosity I bet you’re wondering how Page Speed works. Page Speed performs several tests on a site's web server configuration and front-end code. These tests are based on a set of best practices from Google known to enhance web page performance.

The tool is simple to use and if nothing else you’re going to improve the speed of your site. But I have to tell you I think speed is going to be playing a larger and larger role in the coming years for higher rankings in Google’s search results.