Web developers rule the world (wide web)

This past weekend, I attended the Atlanta WordCamp conference where we heard from local, regional and national folks about how to harness the power of WordPress for both blogging and web content management (see my WordCamp Atlanta recap for more detail). One of the speakers at WordCamp, Topher Kohan who handles SEO for CNN.com, brought up an important point (indirectly) about the SEO in the future:

Load speeds will impact page rankings on Google (Per Matt Cutt at PubCon, 2009; source)

This is pivotal point where power shifts back to web developers. Why?

Revenge of the NerdsIf you consider the capabilities of WordPress, you quickly realize that it is one of the premier tools for business users such as social marketers or content strategists to write and publish content online without requiring any technical assistance. And the content that these users produce has value only if it has good page ranking. Otherwise, it has limited reach and that means limited eyeballs and that means failure.

So in one fast swoop, the engineers at Google have taken (some of) that power from the business user and put it back in the hands of the web developer. While the business user controls the content, the web developer thinks about things like limiting HTTP requests, CDN’s, and removing whitespace from JavaScript and CSS files when they think about optimizing a web site. These are only a few factors in web site optimization —  just look at Yahoo’s Best Practices on Optimizing a Website (source) to get a good idea on some additional techniques. Of course, they all require a savvy web developer to implement.

So if you want to ensure that your site ranks well, business users need to hire a modern web developer and treat them well because they (will help you) rule the world wide web.