How Does Google’s Speed Standard Impact Your Website?
With an increasing number of users accessing the internet on their mobile phones, it is more important than ever before to ensure that websites are optimized for mobile devices. Apart from a responsive design that allows the page contents to display properly on various screen sizes, it is also important that the websites load very fast as users on the go are notoriously impatient. Recognizing this trend, Google began the New Year by announcing what they call as the “Speed Update”, a new ranking factor that will become effective from July 2018.
Google Speed Update to Have a Selective Impact
As per Google’s statement, only the slowest websites will be affected by the update and that too for a very small number of search queries. What it therefore means is that the new filters will only apply to the slowest of sites. It is not designed to promote faster sites. Since Google has not been forthcoming about the details of the speed update, it is not known what criteria it plans to apply for filtering out the slow sites because it is quite apparent that all sites that load slowly are not going to be affected. In fact, Google is encouraging webmasters not to focus on loading speed alone but instead think more broadly about the impact of performance on the user experience.
Is the Google Speed Update Going to Impact You?
According to a Tayloright SEO consultant, close to 70% of the websites take around seven seconds to display on mobiles. This is far longer than what an average mobile user is prepared to tolerate. However, if a site has useful and relevant content it is unlikely to be downgraded even if it loads slowly. Therefore, it is not likely that the speed update is going to affect your site because even though the details are unknown, it seems that only sites with the worst performance and poor content are likely to be impacted. However, it may still be useful to use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check out your website and individual page loading speed. You can take a peek into other metrics of user engagement using the Chrome User Experience Report.
The Importance of Page Speed
Even though the update in all likelihood may not affect your site, it is a good opportunity to investigate and improve the site loading speed. Even if you don’t get a bump up in the search rankings, improved loading speeds will help you to retain visitors who would have quit due to the longer loading time. Also, when the pages open faster, users are compelled to stay and explore more and make purchases. Faster site loading also prevents a negative rub off on your brand image caused by slow-loading speed.
Conclusion – Google Page Speed
Google’s Speed Update is unlikely to cause too much of a flutter in SEO because site loading speed has always been an important factor in ranking desktop search results. Even though the update is targeted at the slowest of sites, it is still a good opportunity to improve your site loading speed and user engagement metrics.
Author Bio: Maria Jones owns a salon that receives a lot of traffic through online referrals. She has worked closely with Tayloright, a reputed local SEO firm to achieve better page rankings.