Google recently announced a major upcoming change to their ranking algorithm. The blog post was titled “using page speed in mobile search ranking.” Google stated that starting from July 2018, page speed will become a ranking factor for mobile sites.
This algorithm update is named “Speed Update” and will affect only the pages that provide the slowest experience to the user. Google says that the update will affect only a tiny percentage of queries. But given the fact that Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day, this small percentage can result in a lot of websites.
Here is how this update will affect mobile search engine optimization.
In fact, page speed is still not a ranking factor when ranking mobile sites. But mobile sites that load faster are always ranked on the top positions on Google. Gary Illyes – Google webmaster trends analyst – stated in June 2016 that Google would use page speed as the next mobile ranking factor.
On the other hand, Google has already been advising webmasters to improve their web page loading times to provide a better user experience to the visitor.
In fact, Google tools such as Progressive Web Apps and Accelerated Mobile Pages have been helping site owners to make their web pages faster and more streamlined on mobile devices.
The Speed Update doesn’t seem to give any important information on how to improve the page speed of a mobile website. But there are a few important things that you need to consider in this regard.
Here are some things that you need to know:
In fact, Google spelled this out correctly in a Q&A session with Search Engine Land – where they stated that the intent of the signal is to improve the overall user experience on mobile search.
Any site owner who wants to rank his/her website higher on Google needs to pay attention to more than just page load time. This is further highlighted by Google’s recommendation of using the Chrome User Experience Report as a tool to evaluate the performance of your web page.
For example, audio and video that is set to automatically play are annoying to the user. It will also slow your website down by loading unwanted content – which means the webmaster is killing two birds with one stone.
The webmaster can also disable annoying full-page pop-ups and implement a minimalist design to improve the speed of the website. Overall, a mobile site should allow the user to do what they came to do without being bogged down by excessive whistles and bells.
If you can design your site in such a way, you can easily stay on the right side of the Speed Update algorithm.