Google has announced that it will start taking page load times into account when it assesses Quality Score.
Quality score is used by the search engine which influences a particular ad’s position on the Google network, as well as minimum bids for keywords.
Other factors already taken into account are keyword relevance, the historical clickthrough rates of a particular keyword, as well as landing page quality.
Now it seems that publishers with faster loading websites will be given preference. The change will be introduced over the next few weeks, and publisher will then be given a month to make improvements to their page load times.
According to the AdWords Blog, there are two main reasons for the changes:
“First, users have the best experience when they don't have to wait a long time for landing pages to load. Interstitial pages, multiple redirects, excessively slow servers, and other things that can increase load times only keep users from getting what they want: information about your business.”
“Second, users are more likely to abandon landing pages that load slowly, which can hurt your conversion rate.”
The AdWords Blog advises webmasters to speed up load times by reducing the size of webpages, using fewer redirects and using fewer, and more compressed, images.