Google has reinforced the need for speed in an increasingly fast paced world with its latest update. Announced back in January 2018, Google’s ‘Speed Update’ is right on time, released on 9th July 2018 . This update could possibly mean a revolution for the way we evaluate the speed of mobile pages and the all future algorithms of search rankings. While speed was a factor for ranking in desktop searches, speed was never considered a requirement of paramount importance for mobile site search rankings.
An increasing number of web traffic comes from mobile users. However a slow loading mobile page spells out frustration for users and loss of business for webpages. It has been discovered that more than 50 percent of page visits are abandoned if the particular page requires more than 3 seconds to load. These statistics act as a wakeup call to mobile sites that depend on online presence for their business. According to the new update, the speed of mobile pages will be graded on a 10 point scale.
Users can then see which pages load faster. The new mobile speed score has been incorporated into Google Ads (known earlier as AdWords). It can be found on the ‘Landing Pages’ section. However, mobile speed scores are not simply based on loading time. They’re calculated based on a combination of factors including the relationship between page speed and page conversion rate.
The move is set to impact SEOs and site owners all over the world as they scramble to make it to the top ranks of user queries. Making it to the front page of a query significantly increases traffic and in turn, revenue.
However, the new update will affect only the slowest sites on the Internet. This means that sites that are already fast won’t be penalized for being slightly slower than their competitors. However, the slowest mobile sites, typically those that require more than a few seconds to load on a user’s mobile, may see their search rankings drop.
Even then, Google maintains that relevancy is key to a higher search ranking. In this case, if a slow loading mobile site contains the most relevant and closely matched information to the user’s search, it may still be ranked higher than many faster loading sites that display less relevant content.
For those looking to speed up their pages, fret not. Google itself has recommended using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP helps by providing a sleeker, faster and far more engaging mobile experience. AMP pages generally load up to 85 percent faster than regular mobile pages.
Speed is important for good business and Google’s new update acts as a prelude to what users will demand from their mobile experience in the future. To help, Google offers various other tools to detect mobile page speed including the Speed Scorecard, which compares mobile speed against competitors.
Another good tool that they recommend is the Impact Calculator that approximates potential revenue lost as a result of having a slow mobile site. By following the results of these tools, businesses can cut back losses that simply boil down to being too slow.