Google has recently announced that it will start factoring in websites’ speed for showing search results on mobile devices from July 2018. It’s been named ‘Speed Update’.
This Kind of Measure Is Actually Not Entirely New
Those who are around the tech industry know that Google already rank websites with faster speed higher on its desktop search results. That move encouraged website owners to upgrade the speed of their websites for desktop users. With its success, Google is following the same route to bring that change for mobile users too. And with the growing number of smartphone users, currently at 2.32 billion, the tech giant is moving in the right direction.
Google’s Efforts for Enhancing Mobile Experience
And yet, this is not the first step taken by Google to promote better mobile user experience. In November 2014, Google showed its support for mobile experience by labeling “mobile-friendly” on sites in its search which were compatible and optimized for mobile users. Though, it was just a start as Google wasn’t lowering the ranking of sites which weren’t mobile friendly because this was used as a warning sign for website owners to put some of their energy in optimizing their sites for mobile traffic.
Finally, in May 2016, Google implemented mobile optimization of sites as a ranking factor, and the search engine started showing mobile friendly sites higher in the search results. However, the label “mobile-friendly’’ was removed as the strategy was a success.
Google is also working on various other mobile friendly projects like Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) and mobile-first search index. The later was rolled out in December 2017, however, the former is still in development.
What Does It Mean for Website Owners?
If you are a website owner and you think your website’s speed is not competitive, there is time for you to fix that as the ‘Speed Update’ won’t be implemented till July 2018.
Moreover, there will be a lot of questions regarding how and to what extent a website’s ranking will rise or fall. Google puts it that way:
“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.”
So, it is not forecasted that a website with authoritative content will see lower ranking if it’s speed is not optimal. On the other hand, if there is a website whose content and speed both are average, the ranking may be lowered in search results.
What you can do is to start working on making your website speedier and optimized for mobile users with your usual quality content, and your website will be safe and sound.