Breaking: Several weeks ago, Google rolled out the “Speed Update,” an algorithm tweak that makes the amount of time it takes your website to load a ranking factor for mobile search. Here’s how the Google Webmaster Central Blog stated it:
“People want to be able to find answers to their questions as fast as possible—studies show that people really care about the speed of a page. 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.” Google goes on to say that the affected pages will be the ones that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only impact a small percentage of queries.
Fortunately for us, there is an addendum: “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.”
We see this so often in the information Google releases—great content will always make a site stronger even if other ranking factors are not ideal. The blog post goes on to say, “We encourage developers to think broadly about how performance affects a user’s experience of their page and to consider a variety of user experience metrics.”
We’ve linked some of the new products they are promoting here, which can possibly answer questions if you have them. We will continue to publish updates like these here on the Content Context blog. News like this confirms to us that our UX Evaluations matter to the most important entity in the room (the spider crawling your site). If you’re not certain whether your loading time is a drawback to your relevancy, contact us and we’ll get the radar gun out.