Google’s “Speed Update” will see page speed becoming a major ranking factor in mobile search results from 2018 and beyond!
It was only last week Google announced the major change to mobile ranking factors, but it’s caught the attention of digital marketers, designers and developers worldwide.
Site speed has always been a major influence in providing the best online experience for users on both desktop and mobile, but it’s never been an official ranking factor on mobile.
However, July 2018 will see site/page speed become an official ranking factor for mobile!
How will the “Speed Update” affect everyone?
You might think we should see (or not) all slow pages dropping off the face of the earth. But that’s not entirely the case. According to Search Engine Land, Google’s Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan said, “a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”
You’re probably thinking, ‘great, I’ll just add some really good content to my site pages and I’ll be safe’. That’s all very well, but if your page is slow to load, site users who land on your page will more than likely bounce!
Site owners must act now
Your mobile site should already be optimised in respect of its performance and usability. The news that mobile performance is key is not new information. We even published a blog last year which focussed on the accessibility and navigation of your website on a mobile device. This particular blog will be extremely helpful to you now!
Trawling even further back to the depths of 2016, The Guardian reported on the growth of mobile web browsing; which officially overtook desktop browsing, standing at 51.3% (source: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/nov/02/mobile-web-browsing-desktop-smartphones-tablets).
Test your site to see if it’s safe from the ‘Speed Update’
Last thing you want is to plummet in mobile search results. By testing your mobile site’s speed, you can stop this from happening.
You can test your mobile site a number of ways. One of which is by utilising Google’s tool, TestMySite tool. It will highlight where you can improve your mobile load times.
It’s worth noting though that the tool will test the site with a 3G connection. Most people use 4G, but there are still areas and providers across the UK that can only establish 3G.
Does the update really matter?
Yes. Even if this update wasn’t in place, mobile site speed is still important.
The stats from Think With Google highlights the importance of mobile page speed.