What is Google doing?
Website load speed is now an important factor for the SEO of your website. Google has recently announced that “Chrome may identify sites that typically load fast or slow for users with clear badging”. They state that “Speed has been one of Chrome’s core principles since the beginning”.
Initially, the plan is to identify which have been historically loading slowly with a warning as a site loads. Google have mocked up screenshots as to how they anticipate it will work. The loading screen on the left identifies a slow loading site, whereas the green bar on the right highlights a faster site.
At the moment, they have not qualified what they believe the benchmark to be for a slow loading site but it is generally believed to be anything taking longer than 2 seconds to load is considered slow.
The reason for the announcement is to gather feedback from the developer community. Google will be looking at how this can be implemented without affecting the quality of their search results. If they set the standard too high, then too many sites will have the warning and users will be less likely to use Google for their searches.
They are also hoping by announcing this that they will encourage website designers and developers to include speed as one of the main principles when they are building a website.