Some time ago Google announced that it has added site speed to the over 200 signals it uses for page rank. Here’s the official Blog Post.
It makes sense. After all, how many times have you gone to a web site and wished it would load faster? How many times have you LEFT a site due to frustration with slow pages?
Site speed is a factor that we have always advised being conscious of. Images should be optimized for the best web performance and HTML and other code should be as efficient as possible. However, let me make two suggestions:
1) Do not jump too fast to make any changes to your web site based on this signal. It is an important factor but does not merit a knee-jerk reaction. Optimizing your site speed is a task to be integrated into your existing updating and standard maintenance routine.
2) Do not sacrifice your content solely for the sake of site speed. If you have a video or some other component that is a little heavy or slow to load just follow best practices for implementing it. Remember that usefulness for your visitors is the most important. You just need to strike an appropriate balance between usability and usefulness.