Google has recently released news that it will now be officially using page speed as another ranking factor, saying:
You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests
In the Google Webmaster Central Blog, it is stated that Google is speeding up the internet for all users, as faster sites create happy users, and happy users are users that stay online longer. According to Google, faster sites also reduce operation costs
Google found that a 400 millisecond delay resulted in a -0.59% change in searches/users. What’s more even after the delay was removed, these users still had -0.21% fewer searches, indicating that the slower user experience affects long term behavior
Although this change only effects less that 1% of search results, on Google.com and in English, Google recommends web site owners to start looking at your sites speed to optimise the site result, and users web experience.