Back in 2010 Google added the speed of a website as one of the ranking factors that affected your website’s position in their search index and introduced a utility called Page Speed to test various factors and give a site a speed ranking. Yahoo also have a similar utility called YSlow although this is generally run as a browser extension. However our favourite site is GTMetrix which performs both for you and is a source of some great information.
So the speed of your website has been important for a while but with the level of mobile access of websites increasing exponentially, the speed of a website along with how mobile friendly (responsive etc) it is, are now becoming major targets for Google. So it is no surprise that Google seems to be testing a new red “slow” label warning people whether a site is unacceptable slow in it’s search results as shown below in a screen capture via K Neeraj Kayastha
There is no information yet available from Google about what constitutes a slow website but as well as having a known influence on search engine rankings, sites labelled like this are likely to be mostly ignored by people when doing a search so there is even greater incentive to do what you can to make your website as fast as possible.
There are a great many factors that influence website speed and GTMetrix does a great job of identifying many of these, some are simple to implement and some are not so simple and may involve a cost (many CDN services for example incur a monthly cost). However, ensuring your website is hosted with a company that uses fast servers and more importantly, servers that are not oversold as many of the cheaper hosting companies do, is becom,ing more and more important every day.