We’ve been talking about this for a while, but now it has finally happened. Google has officially announced that the “Speed Update” is being rolled out worldwide. Although the change won’t be immediate, you can expect to feel the changes in a couple of days.
The Speed Update, which enables page speed in mobile search ranking📱, is now rolling out for all users!
More details on Webmaster Central 👉 https://t.co/fF40GJZik0
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) July 9, 2018
This is not an unexpected development, as Google has announced this change since the beginning of this year in January.
Page Speed is a Mobile Ranking Factor
Page speed was a ranking factor for a couple of years now – but only on desktop searches. Sure, fast and mobile-optimized sites were always recommended by Google in the past couple of years, but page speed was never advertised as a full-fledged ranking factor in the mobile search results.
Well, starting with the speed update, the loading speed is an aspect that is actively analyzed by Google’s mobile crawlers. While this is an important development that you should definitely not ignore, don’t go crazy over it.
Switching your host just to shave a few microseconds will not improve your mobile search ranking. The Speed Update will only affect (in a bad way) those sites that are noticeably slower than their competition.
But even with these developments, don’t go thinking that Google will devalue your page even if you have great content. Content is still king according to Google and it will remain this way for the time being. This means that if you have superior content, the search engine results will still reflect that even if your page loads a little bit slower.
Right now there isn’t a specific metric that you can use to confirm if your web page is considered by Google to be slow or not. However, you can use tools like PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, and Chrome User Experience report to get a general idea of where you stand. You can also use our material on improving your mobile search ranking.