A forthcoming Google Speed Update will count page load time as a mobile search ranking factor, starting in July of this year…
It’s known Google uses over 200 ranking signals to determine how high a site ranks in organic search for desktop queries. One such algorithm is page load time. And now, the search giant will apply that same standard to mobile pages. Beginning in July 2018, page speed will factor into how well a site performs in organic search results.
Google Speed Update Mobile Page Ranking Factor to Launch in July
Today, Google announced, that it’s bringing such parameters to the mobile web. “Although speed has been used in ranking for some time, that signal was focused on desktop searches. Today we’re announcing that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches.”
However, this won’t impact every page. Instead, it “will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries.” Although, Google goes on to explain even slow pages might perform than faster ones, if they contain “great, relevant content.”
This is not a surprise, as the search engine continues to put more and more emphasis on speed. For instance, in February 2016, Google began to prominently surfact AMP content or accelerated mobile pages. It followed that by placing AMP content in a more conspicuous position in Google News. Then, it started rolling out its mobile-first search index in December.
Google does not have a dedicated tool to test pages but recommends the following:
- Chrome User Experience Report, a public dataset of key user experience metrics for popular destinations on the web, as experienced by Chrome users under real-world conditions
- Lighthouse, an automated tool and a part of Chrome Developer Tools for auditing the quality (performance, accessibility, and more) of web pages
- PageSpeed Insights, a tool that indicates how well a page performs on the Chrome UX Report and suggests performance optimizations
This comes as mobile search continues to overshadow desktop. Mobile queries surpassed desktop in 2015.