Today Google announced they will start using page speed as a mobile ranking factor, beginning in July.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the fastest site will always come out on top. There are literally thousands of different signals used by Google’s search algorithm. Mobile-first index or not, I don’t see mobile page speed superseding more important factors that vet the quality and relevance of a site.
The new update, which Google has dubbed the “Speed Update,” is said to “only affect pages that deliver the slowest user experience,” and most webmasters won’t notice any difference in terms of rankings or organic traffic, since this change will only impact a small percentage of search queries.
Unfortunately, there’s no tool to that indicates which pages are impacted by the new ranking signal, but Google offered 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.”
They also mentioned a few free tools and online resources that developers and webmasters can use to evaluate a page’s mobile performance:
- Chrome User Experience Report – provides user experience metrics for how real-world Chrome users experience popular destinations on the web.
- Lighthouse – An open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages.
- Pagespeed Insights – Analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster.
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