Late last week, Google announced a major change to its mobile ranking factors. While speed has always been a factor in determining both organic rankings and AdWords Quality Score, Google’s change shifts this focus slightly.
Indeed, whilst page speed has been a ranking factor since 2009, this hasn’t included mobile. Yet. Per the blog post Google released last week: “Although speed has been used in ranking for some time, that signal was focused on desktop searches…Starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches.”
Google says that the intent behind a query is still a “very strong signal,” and that a slow page may still rank if it has relevant content. The Speed Update will supposedly only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users, and will only affect a small percentage of queries.
Here’s what you can do now:
- There are several tools that allow you to benchmark your page speed to see where you might need to improve. Google recommends their own tool, TestMySite, to identify areas where you can improve your mobile page load times specifically.
- Make the switch to Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). An AMP is an alteration to the source code of your website which points your standard HTML page over to a stripped-down version of itself – your hosted AMP page.
- Leverage Google’s Search Console – the “Mobile Usability” report tells you exactly which pages have mobile usability issues, and the nature of the problems.