We spend a lot of time talking to people about why they should care about their site’s load time. A poor-performing site can result in lower conversion, higher bounce rates, higher abandonment rates and even higher costs. Sometimes, we find ourselves preaching to the converted. Sometimes it falls on deaf ears. But if we tell someone their site’s speed will affect their search engine ranking, we invariably have their attention.
It’s surprising how many people don’t know that performance is a factor, particularly when Google’s been taking it into account since 2010. And it doesn’t just affect natural ranking. Performance is also a factor in determining quality scores for PPC ads and has been since 2008.
Now, though, it looks as though Google might be about to take this a step further. According to a recent article on Search Engine Land, a new “slow” label is under test. A small, red flag would appear next to results for pages that are slow to load, warning searchers that the page could take a while to appear.