On April 9th, Google announced that it is now including website speeds – that is, the amount of time a page takes to respond to a user’s request – as a factor in determining its result rankings.

Users of internet marketing services may already be aware that faster websites create happier users – and slow sites mean they will go elsewhere.

But Google said that there is evidence indicating that speedy sites also help to reduce an owner’s operating costs.

However, organic search engine marketing will not be entirely decided by how fast a site responds to requests, as relevancy still remains the dominant factor in determining rankings, the company added.

Currently, site speed only applies as a signal for searches conducted in English on Google.com.

"We encourage you to start looking at your site’s speed … not only to improve your ranking in search engines, but also to improve everyone’s experience on the internet," said Google’s official blog.

Earlier this year, Lawrence Jones of UKFast said that while content remains "very important", the quick delivery of that content is set to become a critical factor in successful internet marketing this year.

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