Using page speed in mobile search ranking

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Google has announced that, starting July 2018, page speed will become a ranking factor in mobile search. Speed has been used as a ranking signal for desktop search since 2010– this marks the first time it will be used to rank pages on mobile.

This is being called the “Speed Update,” and it will target only the slowest loading pages. What that means exactly is anyone’s guess, as Google says there is no tool that will determine whether a page is affected by this algorithm update.

 

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.

 

Instead, Google offers the following advice:

”We encourage developers to think broadly how about performance affects a user’s experience of their page and to consider a variety of user experience metrics.”

As important as speed will become, Google says it can be superseded by query intent. A slow page may still rank well if it’s content is highly relevant to what the user is searching for.

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