At my Pubcon hosting session last November, I predicted that Google would make page load time a ranking factor in 2010.

The very next day in his PubCon session, Matt Cutts made the announcement that speed as a ranking factor would be coming soon, and Google did make that happen in April of this year.

No, I’m not some sort of a search heretic 😉  – It just made sense to me that since they were putting such emphasis on speed for Ad Words Quality Scores for so long, that making a factor for organic ranking must be coming soon.

Ever since then, when checking site health, one of my routine stopovers in Google Webmaster tools has been under Google labs called “site performance”, and I even posted a quick video showing how Google is helping you speed up your site.

There was a nifty chart, showing you a history of the speed of your site, and a sentence telling you “Your Site is Faster (or Slower) than X % of sites” ,  so you knew stacks up with the rest of the world.

Here’s what one USED to look like –


Today, though, the entire sentence telling you how you’re doing, and the charts too, are missing?!?

On the one hand, I suppose that’s okay, because it seemed like a very rare occasion that Google reported any site in the upper speed percentage of on the web.

On the other hand, when a site was really bad,  having the chart there as a “warning” was a good thing, and I encouraged employees to look there often.  Now we’ll actually have to run their speed tool?

Do you think the chart will be coming back?  I sure hope so…

Update – 8/31

It does seem as if it’s only on SOME domains, but there’s no pattern I can find. I wonder what’s going on?

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