Before now, Google had only suggested that webmasters "monitor" a site's performance, including page load speeds. Today, however, Google explicitly stated that they should actively make their sites faster, even providing some tools to help:
Google strongly recommends that all webmasters regularly monitor site performance using Page Speed, YSlow, WebPagetest, or other tools. For more information, tools, and resources, see Let's Make The Web Faster.Gasp! They even suggest a couple tools that Google does not own!
It seems to me this is a response to a couple things:
- If webmasters make their sites faster, Googlebot has an easier time crawling them.
- Google is identifying that mobile visits are becoming more and more important- and site speed is an important piece of mobile success.