Google Makes Mobile Page Speed A Ranking Factor In Search

Google will use the speed in which a mobile page loads as a ranking factor in its search results beginning in July.

The Speed Update, as Google calls it, will affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries.

The update will apply to the same standard for all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query remains a strong signal, so a slow page may still rank high if it has very strong and relevant content.

Although it does not have any tools that directly indicate whether a page is affected by this new ranking factor, Google provides a list of resources that developers and designers can use to evaluate a page’s performance.

Google says to use the Chrome User Experience Report, updated PageSpeed Insights report and tools like LightHouse to measure page speed and make improvements.

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"People want to be able to find answers to their questions as fast as possible," Google search team members Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan said in the blog post. "Studies show that people really care about the speed of a page."

Google has focused on speed as a search ranking factor for years, but it focused on desktop at the time, rather than mobile. This algorithm update announced Wednesday cements the move to mobile-first. 

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