Google to use website loading time in mobile search rankings

Since 2010, Google has used page speed as a signal for ranking desktop Search results. It will start in July 2018, when page speed will be a ranking factor for Google mobile searches.

The inclusion of speed as a ranking factor for mobile search will "only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries", Google engineers Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan said in a January 18 blog.

Google said the update applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used for developing them. The change makes sense as the search company has been increasingly focusing on page load times.

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Even after the change kicks in, Google will continue to consider search query intent when ranking pages in mobile search. Relevant content is still a strong signal, however, so users may still see slower pages if they respond to their query.

"The "Speed Update", as we're calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries".

A few days ago, Google announced the introduction of an enhanced PageSpeed Insights tool to aid website owners in optimizing the loading speed of their pages. There is no tool that directly indicates whether a page is affected by this new ranking factor. Mobile-first indexing is a major shift away from the current practice of using computer programs to crawl, index and rank websites by first looking at the desktop version. The Chrome User Experience Data?

  • Regina Walsh