For years, page speed on mobile has been accepted as an implied ranking signal – an educated guess. It was insightful speculation based on the fact that speed is a factor for Google search on desktop. But now it’s official. With mobile-first ranking beginning to take effect, Google today announced that starting July 2018, page speed will officially be a ranking factor for mobile searches.
Google’s “Speed Update”
Google is calling the algorithm change a “speed update” and making it clear that relevant content is still important.
The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.
What does this mean? Simply, the faster your mobile website loads, the more love Google will give it. And this move makes a lot of sense, as the majority of growth is happening on mobile.
At WompMobile, we often see businesses confronted with mobile traffic surpassing desktop traffic, while conversions – and revenue – lag way behind. The biggest culprit preventing mobile conversion from rivaling the desktop is a lack of speed and performance. Slow and sluggish websites are abandoned in seconds. Google knows it. And this “speed update” underscores the search-giant’s repeating theme that mobile is the next frontier.
The good news is new tools and technologies, including Accelerated Mobile Pages and Progressive Web Apps, make blazing-fast load speeds possible. To read more about how AMP and Progressive Web Apps can be combined, check out this article.