Your website must pass Google
It is confirmed now that Google will use Mobile Page Speed as a ranking signal in their mobile search algorithm. This ranking development was rolled earlier this year. The good news would appear to be that only a minority of queries will be impacted by Google’s update. In the interim, webmasters have the opportunity to make the necessary webpage adjustments to avoid any penalties that might be imposed for poor page speed and performance. Though it all seems a little vague Google recommends that you use the new ‘updated Page Speed report’ and tools such as ‘Lighthouse’ to measure page speed and implement the required page adjustments to improve performance and speed.
According to two of Google’s technical experts this ‘Speed Update algorithm’ will only affect the slowest of pages with the slowest delivery of user experience. The same standard will be applied to all pages and will have a universal application. Both Google’s Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan insist that a slow page may still achieve a top position in the page rankings if it presents authentic, authoritative relevant content. This adds further confusion unfortunately to webmaster’s understanding of Google’s intent. However, Gary Ilyes of Google has confirmed that they are rewriting their page speed algorithm for mobile. This may inform some of the confusion surrounding the impending new algorithm and the launch of ‘mobile first index’ by clearly indicating that page speed will be a major factor in SERPS. There is a question about how Google measures page speed since it has been measured of desktop speed and not mobile, up to now. He has stressed that going forward desktop speed will be less important than mobile page speed. It would appear that Google is going to move their entire search index to mobile-first. The two existing search indexes, mobile and desktop, are going to be combined into one index. The Mobile version of a page will be crawled first by the index which clearly indicates that the mobile version of your site will be the first one crawled – not the desktop.
The key elements for publishers will be:
- the necessity to have mobile first and foremost
- the mobile site cannot be an amended or dumbed down version of your desktop site
- ensure that all elements of your website are crawlable on Mobile
- ensure that structured data, meta descriptions, tags etc are replicated on mobiles exactly as they are on desktop.
The message to all website publishers is to take steps, before the new algorithm rollout, to ensure your mobile site is equal in all aspects to your desktop version. If it is not then the outcome could be damaging. You need to take care that all the enhanced elements of your site are as crawlable on mobile as they are on desktop. This is all motivated by Google’s growing desire to provide increasingly faster rich query results that improve user’s search satisfaction.
In the light of emerging markets globally, Google is even more determined to push the envelope with page speed, especially in an environment where connectivity and connection speeds vary greatly. The need for instant delivery of the content the user is looking for, is the motivating factor behind joint PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) and AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology. Though AMP presents certain weaknesses for publishers, working better for some than for others, the single clear message to webmasters is – optimise your site for instant loading, fast speeds and performance!
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Website speed is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, fast-loading websites provide a better user experience for visitors. If a website takes too long to load, users may become frustrated and leave the site before it has a chance to fully load. This can lead to lost potential customers or readers for businesses and individuals who use their website to generate income or share content.
In addition to providing a better user experience, faster websites can also improve search engine rankings. Search engines like Google prioritize fast-loading websites in their search results, so a slower website may be ranked lower than a faster one, even if the content is similar. This can make it harder for users to find your website, and can decrease the amount of traffic your site receives.
Fast websites can also improve conversion rates and SEO rankings. If a user clicks on a link to your website and is immediately greeted with a fast-loading page, they are more likely to stick around and explore your site. This can lead to more engagement and ultimately, more conversions.
Furthermore, faster websites can save on resources and reduce operating costs. Slow websites often require more server resources to deliver the same amount of content as a faster website. This can lead to increased hosting costs, which can be a significant expense for businesses and individuals who rely on their website for income.
In short, website speed is important because it provides a better user experience, can improve search engine rankings, increase conversion rates, and save on resources and operating costs. A fast-loading website can be a valuable asset for businesses and individuals alike.