In a video interview for Web Pro News Matt Cutts has given a clear hint that page load speed will be a part of Googles algorithm next year. Page speed is already part of the AdWords quality score algorithm but until now it’s not directly been part of the main search algorithm.
We’ve always seen the effects of very slow hosting with poor crawl rates and a lack of deep indexing but Google has traditionally not been giving a boost to faster sites.
Historically, we haven’t had to use it in our search rankings, but a lot of people within Google think that the web should be fast. It should be a good experience, and so it’s sort of fair to say that if you’re a fast site, maybe you should get a little bit of a bonus. If you really have an awfully slow site, then maybe users don’t want that as much.
Video available below, the page speed part is 2 minutes 35 seconds in.