The SEO community has been discussing just how important page load speeds are for their sites especially in relation to Google. While the following news from Google doesn’t say just how important it is as a ranking factor, it does show that Google finds it important enough to develop a service offering around it called Page Speed service.
Page Speed Service is the latest tool in Google’s arsenal to help speed up the web. This service is also their most ambitious yet. When you sign up and point your site’s DNS entry to Google, they’ll enable the tool which will fetch your content from your servers, rewrite your webpages, and serve them up from Google’s own servers around the world. Yes, you read all of that correctly.
“Your users will continue to access your site just as they did before, only with faster load times,” Google notes. They say that applying web performance best practices across these pages should improve speed by 25 to 60 percent. Google will allow you to test out how much they’ll be able to speed up your site before you commit to it, apparently.
These are pretty lofty numbers but how willing will webmasters be to turn their pages over to Google to rewrite for speed? There would have to be a high level of trust that nothing else on the site would break as a result of Google’s takeover.
Now, probably of even greater importance to note is that while there will be a few test cases for this service, when it is fully rolled out it will look a bit different than most other Google services. Why? Because it WON’T be free. Google promises competitive pricing but has given no idea what that means at this point.
So while the service sounds nifty, is this the start of a subtle shift from Google’s “everything is free to get you to use our advertising machine” approach to web services? It’s bound to happen as Google looks for more ways to generate revenue and help balance the revenue scales at the company that are completely out of balance with paid search accounting for somewhere over 90% of the total revenue for the search giant.
So would you pay Google to take your site and rewrite it for increased speed?