Back in January of this year, Google announced that as of July, it will be using mobile page speed as a factor in its ranking algorithm. A commanding percentage of the population owns smart phones and more than 50% of internet access is now taking place on mobile devices. So, it’s pretty easy to see why mobile search is now the dominant search. Since page speed on desktops has been a ranking factor since 2009, it only makes sense that mobile page speed now be a factor as well. Hence, the newest Google update.
The “Speed Update” as they’re calling it will not necessarily affect everyone. Google is trying to target “pages that deliver the slowest experience to users”. What that means is up for interpretation, but if you try to pull up your website on a mobile device and it’s taking longer than 8-10 seconds to load, you should really get to work. However, there are many other ranking factors that take precedence over your page speed. Search intent is still a very strong signal. So as long as the page content is still extremely relevant, your site should continue to rank high even if it runs slower than others.
The update is meant for developers to think about how their page performance affects one of Google’s other ranking factors; the user’s experience (UX). Developers won’t know for sure if the pages they create will be affected as there is no tool to measure it. However, Google encourages developers to consider using a few tools to see how they can enhance page performance. These tools include:
• Chrome User Experience Report – measures UX for popular web destinations
• Lighthouse – audits pages performance, accessibility and more)
• PageSpeed Insights – provide metrics on how well a page performs on the Chrome User Experience Report
One thing to note, however, is that this algorithm update does not affect page indexing…only mobile search rankings. Indexing is the process of how a search engine collects, parses and stores data for usage. The search engine index provides the results for search queries. It is these results that mobile page speed may affect.
Marketing Relevance develops all client websites with a mobile first process. With this strategy, our clients are never left behind in the ever-increasing mobile universe. If you currently have two separate sites for mobile and desktop or you need an upgrade to your mobile friendly site, let us know. As this update doesn’t take effect until July, you still have time, but you need to act now. We will get you up to speed (yes, pun intended) and always keep you current. Contact us for more information. Call 847-259-7312 or visit our website.