From July 2018, Google is going to consider page speed as a ranking signal for mobile search. Page speed has been a ranking factor for Google searches since 2010, but this was only focused on desktop searches, not mobile. Google has nicknamed this new update as the “Speed Update”.
Don’t worry, you don’t need panic if your website is not currently running at tip top speed – the search query is still an important ranking signal for Google, and a slow webpage with relevant, quality content can still rank highly. The question is: what does Google consider to be slow? They haven’t made it particularly clear what the cut off point is. However, Google has dished out some advice to developers in their update saying:
We encourage developers to think broadly about how performance affects a user’s experience of their page and to consider a variety of user experience metrics.
This new update is another clear indication that Google is focusing on two things, mobile and web performance, as the shift from desktop to mobile devices continues. If you are concerned with the performance of your website, then a good starting place is Google PageSpeed Insights, as this will give you a checklist of things you can do to improve performance on all devices.
As well as PageSpeed Insights, Google has also recently launched a tool called think with Google. This tool can compare your website against your competitors, which allows you to work out how much potential revenue you could gain from improving website performance on your site. If you are looking to be faster than your competitors here’s a top tip: aim for your site to be at least 20% faster for people to recognise the difference between your website and a competitors.
Michael Gearon is a Senior Interaction Designer at Companies House in Cardiff. Previously Mike was a product designer at the GoCo Group including GoCompare, MyVoucherCodes and WeFlip. As well working for brands in South Wales like BrandContent and HEOR.