Why Page Speed is Ranking Signal for Mobile Search
On 17 January 2018, Google has made an announcement that they are going to consider page speed as the ranking factor in mobile search. They will start doing it within its search results from July 2018. Although Google has made speed as ranking signal for desktop search since 2010, this time they made their mind to even do it with the mobile search as well. Only the slowest loading pages will be the target of the search engine, as Google mentioned it as “Speed Update”.
Performance has always remained the key preference of Google
Since speed is always the key criteria for the search engine of Google, that is why the Google gospel of speed has become a real gospel with the course of the journey of Google. The Page Speed Insights (PSI) was first developed by Google in 2009. It was a free tool for checking your website against basic performance.
Then, in 2010, Google started considering page speed as an important factor of ranking. In accordance with Google Webmaster Tools, the speed above 1.5 seconds for a page is considered to be a slow one.
By the end of 2015, Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP). By the November 2016, Google introduced Mobile First Indexing and by January 2018, Real User Monitoring data are integrated into Page Speed Insights and here comes the factor of speed update.
Understanding Speed Update
If you go through the Google announcement about Speed Update, you will understand that Google is going to consider the speed of the page as a ranking signal for your Mobile SEO. And it is going to take place from July 2018. As it is very similar to the announcement of 2010 to penalize the pages which are slow, it is going to affect probably very few pages, as it affected only less than 1% of the web pages. But since this time Google has warned 6 months earlier, this time it might be more effective than only being minor. As Google’s AMP is the only technology that makes you benefit from the Google’s carousel, Google considered those websites as fast that are using this technology. For others, it considers with speed update.
The speed ranking factor on your web pages
It is not known how the speed factor is actually measured. It is generally understood that no pages could be affected by the new ranking factor. Google actually does not make it clear in its announcements. According to Google the speed of days with only affect the pages which deliver the slowest experience for its users and going to affect only a very few percentage of queries. It will be applicable for all the pages irrespective of the Technologies that are being used to develop them. But the preference in the search query is still a very important factor for the ranking of a web page. That is why the quality of the content is still a very important factor for the ranking as mentioned by Google. Therefore, if your web pages contain quality material, it still has a high ranking even being quite slow. According to Google, there is no such tool which can actually indicate whether a webpage is affected by this new factor or not. Hindustan Google still mentions some resources which can be considered for the evaluation of the performance of a web page.
Chrome User experience report
It is a public data set of key user experience metrics for the destination of the websites that are experienced by Chrome users in the real world conditions.
It is an automated tool which is the part of Chrome developer tools for evaluating the performance and accessibility quality of web pages.
Page speed insights
It is the tool which indicates how good the performance of a page on the Chrome UX Report is. It suggests performance optimizations of the web pages as well.
Chrome UX report not the only determining factor
It is difficult to accept that Chrome UX report could be the only component for determining the speed factor. Since data are connected via Chrome users, it is required to determine first the Real User Monitoring. Collection of performance data through real visitors is designated as Real User Monitoring. But these Real User Monitoring parameters have their own limit as well. Since the visitors of the web pages are complex and not homogeneous, therefore it is quite unexpected from them to have one opinion regarding any webpage. It is quite possible for them to have different opinions due to their different conditions and state of mind. Many people have expressed their disappointment in different social media about the new Page Speed Insights version as the Chrome UX data for the websites were not provided to them. It is always to be kept in mind that The Real User Monitoring will always require significant traffic for its effective use. For a reliable ranking signal, a good amount of real user monitoring data is necessary. It also requires segmentation as the Google Local SEO search of a US visitor and that of a European visitor will not produce the same result. Only the proper use of RUM data segmentation could be useful in real sense here,
Be prepared for Speed update
Considering all these recent developments from Google, you must start preparing yourself for the speed update if you want your web pages to be successfully loaded in the earliest possible time. It will be one of the key factors for yourself to address as your measure for SEO strategy. In the meantime let us wait and see if Google tells us anything further regarding its strategy about the measure of the web page speed for mobile Google search.