Most of the website owners do not consider site speed, and sadly some web developers don’t consider it too. And you might have been convinced that it’s not that important because of this video which is recorded back in 2009.
Matt did said back then that it does not give any effect on your Google ranking but of course he says that possibly in the future it could really be one of the criteria that they’ll look into. Not because they want to piss you off, but because people love fast service and Larry Page (of Google – their boss) wants fast websites.
And on their official Google webmasters blog, they’ve officially announce on April 9, 2010 that it will give an effect on your Google ranking and have released an update on their Google algorithm to give importance on sites that responds fast on web requests.
As a SEO speicalist, I believe having a FAST website is not only important to Google and other search engines, people these days love fast service. We love fast foods, we complain on slow service and even created technologies that makes our work easier and faster. So I think we can understand that search engines will love to rank sites that have fast respond on requests.
Your website visitors will most likely close your website within few seconds if did not show up on their screen, studies even showed that you only have 5 seconds to impress your website visitors. 5 seconds to load your website and show them that you have what they’re looking for. That’s why the first fold of your site (the first thing they see once the website loaded) is also important because it’s part of the 5 seconds that you have.