Google Shows Preference To Quicker-Loading Mobile Pages

The speed at which pages load in browsers has begun to determine those that will serve up higher in mobile searches, according to data released this week.

The Searchmetrics study, released prior to Google’s mobile speed update, scheduled for release in July, suggests that marketers should take note. The search results appearing in Google positions one to five load significantly faster than those that run lower down, with nearly 32% loading within one second.

Pages using Google’s faster-loading system tied to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) appear in the first search results page for around 61% of searches.

Searchmetrics analyzed the connection between mobile page speeds and AMP across ecommerce, finance, health, media and travel, providing insights both globally and by industry.

The biggest link between page speed and how pages rank was found in the top five results. The higher the ranking in search engine query results, the faster the average page speed, according to Searchmetrics white paper Mobile Speed Study 2018.

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The research shows that the average load time for pages ranking from one to 15 is less than three seconds for all industries analyzed. The pages that Google ranks in the top five positions returned in search queries tend to be faster on average than those that fall in positions six to 15.

There are some differences between verticals. Pages displayed for ecommerce and media-related searches tend to load a little slower than average.

The Searchmetrics study also analyzed the growth within search results of AMP. While Google has said that AMP does not provide a boost in rankings, content on AMP-enabled pages loads very rapidly, according to the findings.

The findings show that at least one AMP-enabled listing appears on the first page in 61% of searches. On average, when AMP appears, there are 4.3 AMP-enabled pages listed in all Page One search results, whether that is within traditional organic results, “top stories,” carousels from a single publisher or mixed carousels.

Some 87% of media-related searches now show at least on AMP-enabled result on the first page. The same is true for 67% of finance searches, 59% of e-commerce searches and 56% of travel searches.

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