Website Speed Is An SEO Ranking Factor

When did website speed become a Google SEO ranking factor?

Google’s algorithm has over 200 different SEO ranking factors.  The company rarely discloses information about how it organically ranks websites.

In 2010, however, Google took the rare step of publicly announcing another SEO ranking factor – Web Page Speed.

As we have seen over the years, Google tends to downplay new ranking signals.  In similar fashion, said that website owners shouldn’t overestimate the impact of page speed on rankings.

In a 2009 Google Blog post, the company said:

Our experiments demonstrate that slowing down the search results page by 100 to 400 milliseconds has a measurable impact on the number of searches per user of -0.2% to -0.6% (averaged over four or six weeks depending on the experiment). That’s 0.2% to 0.6% fewer searches for changes under half a second!

But many professional SEO’s know better.  When Google makes a point like this, the ranking signal usually starts out low and they tend to crank up the weighting over time.

With over 50% of Google Search users on mobile devices, site speed is now a critically important SEO ranking factor.

How does Google measures page speed?

There are two primary ways Google will measure page speed:

  • How a page responds to Googlebot
  • Load time as measured by the Google Toolbar

What are the benefits of a fast website?

  • A faster site will improve your conversion rates
  • A faster site will improve your organic search engine ranking potential
  • A faster site will improve user experience
  • The speed of your site is part of your brand

How can you measure your website’s page speed?

Google has a great tool for measuring page speed and proving other web page “insights”



How to fix WordPress page speed issues?

A Google PageSpeed insights test report will provide you with a score from 1 to 100, as well as some indications of where your website may have room for improvement.  We have provided some examples below and some possible fixes.

Keep in mind, every website is different and some of these solutions may solve your website speed issues (or may not).

Optimize Images

One way to fix the “optimize images” warning is to install and run the Optimus Image Optimizer plugin by KeyCDN. This plugin provides “lossless compression” which means you won’t sacrifice any quality in your images. This plugin also converts your images to .webp format which allows results in a faster website.

Minify Javascript and CSS

Most WordPress website will get a Google PageSpeed recommendation to minify the website’s JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. To fix this problem, you can install the free Autoptimize plugin. In the plugin’s settings you will want to check the following:

  • Optimize HTML Code
  • Optimize JavaScript Code
  • Optimize CSS Code

Render-Blocking Resources Above the Fold

This one will be dependent on your site, but common source of this error (for WordPress websites) are related to fonts such as Google Fonts and Font Awesome Fonts are render-blocking.  You will need to take special steps, and may need some help from your web designer, to resolve some of these website speed issues.

Other tips for improving website speed for SEO

  • Stay away from cheap hosting provider and get a good WordPress hosting solution.  There are many affordable, high quality shared hosting solutions, such as
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Keep WordPress and WordPress plugins up to date
  • Disable any unused WordPress plugins

Here are some more tips via YouTube Video


Your website’s page load speed is a very important SEO ranking factor.  Yet, when we use popular content management systems like WordPress, sometimes a lot of extra effort is needed to make this CMS as fast as possible.

Make sure you monitor your website’s page speed on a regular basis.  Routinely check load times, especially when you make major website updates or add plugins to your site.

What Are You Waiting For?