The forthcoming Google Speed Update will just target the “slowest sites,” according to a clarification made by John Mueller…
Well, that clears things up — sort of. Back in January, Google announced a new update for using page speed in mobile search ranking on its Webmaster Central Blog.
“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.”
Upcoming Google Speed Update to Only Impact “Slowest Sites”
Now, it seems there’s a bit of a contradictory message. John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, explained what’s really going on in a recent tweet:
To clarify on the mobile speed update: a) this only affects the slowest sites, b) those can incrementally improve (though ideally you’d significantly improve the speed…), c) we’re still aiming for this month. If your site is reasonably fast, tweaking won’t change things. https://t.co/4glNAFd0ww
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) July 3, 2018
In other words, the Speed Update will indeed impact the slowest of pages but if those pages contain great content which matches search intent, they’ll still surface near the top.
However, Mueller states if those pages improve their speeds, it will likely improve their organic rankings. Conversely, fast sites will not benefit from changes to increase their speeds. So, slow sites can gain improvement in organic search by delivering faster load speeds.
Google aims to release its Speed Update sometime this month.