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Google Announcement: The Speed Update

02 Feb 2018

Google has recently announced they will be using mobile page speed as a ranking factor. Desktop page speed has been recognised as an influence on Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings since 2010. However, this update officially dubbed the 'Speed Update', focuses solely on mobile traffic.

Why The Change?

This move aligns with research carried out by Google showing how longer loading times result in more visitors bouncing from a site.

It all comes down to the fact that Google is trying to deliver the best possible user experience to their searchers.

So does this mean that if a page has great content, but is painfully slow on a mobile, that it will be penalised?

No, probably not.

This update will only penalise the pages that give users the slowest experience, and will only affect a small proportion of websites globally. 

"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." - Google

How Many of Your Visitors Come from Mobile?

With mobile's increasing dominance in sheer volume of search queries, it's quite likely that a large portion of your website's current traffic is coming from mobile. 

Want to find out how much?

Watch Google's handy video below to find out how you can segment your website's traffic in Google Analytics to better understand how much of your organic traffic is coming from mobile devices.

 

I Use AdWords - Do My Organic Rankings Matter?

Yes, they are still important. Landing page experience is a key part of the quality score equation, and a large part of the landing page experience relates to page speed.

 

Quality Score = Landing Page UX + Keyword Relevance + Landing Page Relevance

 

Having a slow loading page will lower your quality score and therefore increase your cost per click (meaning you're spending more for people to click your ads).

There is no escaping the fact that if your website's pages are loading slowly on mobile and even desktop, it's costing you money. Learn more about improving your site's landing page experiences here.

How To Check Your Page's Speed

Google's page speed insights tool allows you to check how optimised your site is for mobile and desktop. However, many smaller sites won't have actual speed stats available, as the data used for this score is taken from real-world Google Chrome users. 

Mint's Page Speed Insights Score

This tool gives you suggestions on how to optimise your page, and will even do half of the work for you by providing a downloadable .zip file with optimised versions of your site's images, CSS and javascript resources.

If that sounds like it's in the 'too hard basket', you can always contact us and we'll sort it out for you!

Oh No, My Page Is Slow! 

If your website didn't do too well in the speed test, don't panic.

Google has graciously given us the news of this update 6 months early. This gives website owners ample time to fix any speed issues which could see their rankings drop by the time it takes effect in July.

Our SEO Health Check

Page speed optimisation is often part of the action plan we put together for our SEO clients after signing on to our SEO package. In light of the "Speed Update", for the month of February, we're offering $99 SEO health checks.

The health check will give you a good idea of where your website is at in terms of best practices for SEO and sets out a plan of attack to improve your sites online presence as a whole.

This offer provides an analysis of your sites:

  • Page speed
  • Crawl errors
  • Domain authority
  • WWW redirects
  • HTTPS
  • Robots.txt file
  • XML sitemap
  • Content
  • Structured data
  • External/internal linking
  • Mobile usability
  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Alt tag optimisation

 

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