Google has announced that page speed will now be a major factor in ranking websites for mobile searches. This change, referred to as “Speed Update” will take effect on July 2018.
This project is said to be one of the biggest changes that the renowned search engine company is implementing. When it goes live, pages with the slowest load time are primarily going to suffer.
“Speed Update” brings to the fore page speed once again. Page speed has been on the agenda of the search engine enterprise for quite some time now. In 2010, Google confirmed that page speed was a ranking factor for desktop searches.
Furthermore, this is not Google’s first mobile-focused initiative. Ever since mobile searches outnumbered desktop queries in 2015, the tech giant started its efforts in making mobile experience better for users.
In 2016, Google launched AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), one of the company’s initiatives which focused on giving mobile users an excellent browsing time. With AMP, users get high-quality, readable content that loads instantaneously.
Furthermore, in a move to convince more website owners to create high-quality content and a responsive mobile site, Google is launching mobile-first indexing early this year. Under this project, priority will be given to the mobile version of a website’s content to rank pages. Mobile-first indexing was implemented for some sites last year. It is expected to fully roll out early this year.
What Is the Effect of Mobile Page Speed on SEO Ranking?
If your page “delivers the slowest experience to users”, it may end up ranking poorly on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This means that competitors that are outperforming your page in terms of speed may outrank you on the SERPs. Suffice it to say, with the implementation of “Speed Update”, it can now be said that mobile page speed can impact your SEO rankings.
As mentioned earlier, page speed has been a ranking signal for desktop queries for quite some time now. However, this is the first time that it is going to be used for mobile searches.
However, Google stated that this change is only going to impact a small percentage of search queries. Furthermore, the company reiterated that page speed is just one of the many signals that determines rankings. Hence, it is still possible to see slow pages with high rankings on the SERPs if they have the most relevant content for a specific search query.
Why Prioritise Mobile Page Speed and Mobile SEO
Despite the tech company’s pronouncements that “Speed Update” won’t drastically affect SEO rankings, it is still best if you improve the speed of your mobile pages and intensify your mobile SEO. For quite some time now, experts and industry leaders have said that the future is mobile.
The number of people using mobile devices to browse has been steadily increasing. Reports claim that mobile searches accounted for 60% of online queries for 2017.
Moreover, it is not enough for you to have a mobile website; your pages need to load instantly as well. Fast websites rank better on SERPs than slower ones. Furthermore, users prefer speedier pages. In fact, Google said that sites with page load time of 10 seconds recorded an average bounce rate of 123%. Moreover, reports state the revenues of slow retail websites immensely suffer as their conversion rates fall by as much as 20% for every second of delay in their loading time.
With the aforementioned data, it is clear that having optimised, fast-loading and mobile-friendly pages is no longer an option for your business if you want it to stay ahead of its competitors.
Know more about the effect of mobile page speed on your SEO ranking. Call us at 01 960 9023 today!