Google Page Speed to be a Factor in Website Ranking from July 2018
Have you recently run a check on your website? How long does it take to load when a user visits? If your website takes over 10 seconds to load in 2018, you may just be far behind because no one like to spend minutes waiting for your web page to load. You have four – seven seconds to make an impression with your website. And, not surprisingly, Google recently announced that your website’s page speed will now be a factor in website ranking from July 2018 going forward.
Although Google has always considered page speed to be a ranking factor especially for desktop-based search, this would now also affect mobile search results. The goal of this changing algorithm (Speed Update) is to ensure mobile users of a website enjoy a better search experience, and they are giving website owners ample time to bring their web pages up to speed.
What this Speed Update Entails
According to the search giant, the intent of the speed update is to have a “very strong signal”, and slow web pages may still rank if they have relevant content. However, pages that will receive the most negative impact of the Speed Update are those that offer the slowest page speed experience when compared to their competitors in search engine results.
Will my Website be Affected?
It is not safe to think that relevant content is just enough for your page ranking. On the other hand, it would hardly be ideal to think that only page speed will now be the criteria for ranking.
First, you must be sure about your page speed even if you always have valuable content on your website. Google provides and recommends a tool known as TestMySite for mobile page speed. This tool helps webmasters identify specific areas where the page load time can be improved. Assessing your website performance in terms of page speed will help you determine if your site may be vulnerable to the potential ranking drop.
Secondly, no one can perfectly tell what criteria Google would be using here. Since not all slow pages will be affected, it would be ideal to up your game. In fact, according to Google’s update on Webmaster Central Blog, web owners are encouraged to “think broadly” about how the overall performance of their website affects the search experience of a user. Webmasters are also encouraged to think of a variety of ranking criteria and “user experience metrics”. Investing so much time on page speed alone may even hurt your website ranking in the long run.
What You Need to do
In order to effectively assess the progressive web application and mobile SEO of your website, Google suggests a few practical steps to take.
- Chrome User Experience Report – this is a database of public user experience metrics for the most searched destinations on the web.
- Lighthouse – this is a part of Chrome developer Tools, an automated tool that is useful for auditing the quality of web pages in terms of accessibility, performance, and other factors.
- PageSpeed Insights – this is a tool that indicates the performance of a page on Chrome User Experience Report. It also suggests optimization strategies that will boost your mobile SEO performance.
Since no one has an exact metric which Google uses to rank web pages, it would be ideal to make use of tools that make sense to assess the performance of your website. If your site is already doing well, you may not be affected by the ranking metrics to be adopted in July. It should be your goal to always “think broadly”, always target quality user experience, and you can rest assured your website will be ready for Google’s algorithm – however it changes in future.
If you’re concerned about how your website’s page speed performs, performs on mobile devices, or will rank well because of its page speed, speak to one of Mixed Media Ventures Digital Marketing Analysts, and get a better idea of what you may or may not need to do to get up to speed and not be penalized. Contact us at [email protected] or 888.980.8170. We look forward to hearing from you.
Jack Brandt is President of Mixed Media Ventures. In his 18 years in the online (Internet) space, he has worked with organizations of all sizes, with one employee to 50,000+ employees consulting them on how to grow their businesses and help their clients/customers achieve their online goals. He's worked for some of the top Internet companies of their day, and some you've never heard of. In every case, Jack has helped his clients to achieve their online goals with unique solutions that helped them generate new revenue streams. He now leads Mixed Media Ventures and helps businesses with their Digital Marketing efforts, helping them generate leads, prospects, and clients.
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