Matt Cutt’s mentioned that “Google is incorporating site speed as one of the over 200 signals that we use in determining search rankings…” in a blog post recently, which apparently is freaking a lot of webmasters out.
Fast loads are important, Google or no Google. Think about how you react to a slow loading site. You probably click away, right? Well, if your site is a drag on bandwidth, that’s what your visitors will do too.
And THAT’s why I like hard-coding those things that we can hardcode, rather than using plugins and widgets, which are a huge drag on bandwidth.
I especially appreciate that Matt closed with the comment – “Instead of wasting time on keyword meta tags, you can focus on some very easy, straightforward, small steps that can really improve how users perceive your site.”
As I always say, write for people, not the engines.
To read more about this topic, visit the official Google Webmaster blog’s Using site speed in web search ranking.