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Is PageSpeed a Google ranking factor and should I care?
Is Page Speed a Ranking Factor blog post

Introduction to PageSpeed

 

  • It’s official: Google announced that page speed will be a ranking factor in its mobile-first index. There’s no beating around the bush anymore: you should work on making your site as accessible and fast as possible. Work on your mobile SEO.From Google Search Console
  • Last Wednesday on the Webmaster Central Blog, Google announced that in July 2018 page speed will become a ranking factor for mobile search. We’ve known page speed has been a ranking aspect in Google SERPs since about 2010, but this marks the first time it’ll be used to rank pages on their mobile index.Speed Update
  • These are samples of the pageSpeed techniques we use in our SEO Agency in Derry, Northern Ireland  to promote your site on Google

 

Why Google Secrecy is good for us

 

  • To Date Google has been very imaginative & are calling this the “Speed Update” and it will be targeting slow landing pages. Related to the vague wording in Google’s statement, we’re not exactly sure what will constitute a ‘slow page’ and in typical Google fashion, there is no way for us to determine whether a page will be impacted by this algorithm update.
  • In the ocean of secrecy that we have arrived to anticipate from Google, they did offer this little bit of advice for us.Metrics to consider
  • We must think broadly how about performance affects a user’s experience of their page and to consider a variety of user experience metrics.”

 

Google Update Survival

 

  • This is pretty much a general response from Google, if they don’t tell us the minimum criteria to survive the update, certainly everyone will get their pages as fast as possible just on the off-chance the algorithm could have a negative effect on their sites. And I can’t fault Google with that, page speed on mobile pages has a massive impact on user-friendliness, so if everyone gets their pages working as fast as possible that has to be a good thing for everyone using their mobile devices online!
  • As important as speed will be once the update rolls out, it’s a pretty safe bet that this will be superseded by the query intent. Basically, a slow page should still rank well as long as the content is the most relevant for what the user is looking for.Another Mobilegeddon!
  • We can only assume, based on Google’s history with other mobile updates (lets not forget Mobilegeddon for an over-hyped mobile updates) that this shan’t be the end for slow pages in mobile search. Obviously, it will help to optimise all your mobile pages as much as possible before this update rolls out.
  • Remember, anything that improves the user experience on your site is a good thing!looking to start optimising your mobile page speed, luckily there are already a few good tools for evaluating a page’s performance, which I have put right below here for you to have a look at.

 

Speed Tools

 

  • Chrome User Experience Report, a public dataset of key user experience metrics for popular destinations on the web, as experienced by Chrome users under real-world conditions.Chrome Extensions
  • Lighthouse, an automated tool and an element of Chrome Developer Tools for auditing the quality (performance, accessibility, and more) of web pages.
  • PageSpeed Insights, a tool that indicates how well a page performs on the Chrome UX Report and suggests performance optimizations.
  • Anyway, the long and short of this is that we all have until July to get our pages working as fast & efficiently as possible, so best we crack on with that!

 

Mobile Priority Depends on Industry

 

  • While we still spend loads of time in front of our desktop and laptop machines, we can’t deny mobile is crucial. Just look at the upcoming markets, where people use their mobile for all possible tasks.
  • We also know that if you wish to compete with the big boys, get a solid ranking for your mobile site and make some money from it, you need to take care of a few things. One in regard to the most important ones is page speed.The Results
  • Let’s look at some recent research: according to Google the average time it takes for a mobile landing page to load is now 22 seconds. While page speed is important for your SEO, it is even more important for your UX, conversion and general customer happiness.Indicator or Ranking factor

 

Yes, page speed will be a ranking factor.

 

  • Many Seo’s argued, page speed is more of an indicator than a ranking factor. Unless your mobile site is extremely slow, you can still get decent rankings with average page speeds. It’s been proven time and opportunity again that the speedier your site, the better your results will be.
  • When the page load time goes from 1s to 3s, Google’s latest analysis shows that the chance of a bounce increases 32%. For search engines, better results and performance is a sign of a healthy site that pleases customers and therefore should be rewarded with a higher ranking.

 

Google on Record

 

  • Google has recently gone on record saying that page speed will be a ranking factor in its upcoming mobile-first index. Details on how they will evaluate page speed for mobile and calculate rankings are still unknown. What we do know doesn’t change much from what we at Yoast have been saying for some time: make sure your site is responsive, as fast as possible, solidly structured, and full of excellent content.How can i speed up my site

What to do now

  • Do everything in your power to increase the loading speed of your mobile site. Everyone loves a fast site: we SEOs and search engines, but most importantly, our customers. Take a look at the size of your page, as many sites are bloated nowadays.
  1. Activate AMP on your pages.Google’s AMP project is meant to give the web a necessary speed boost. It’s not too hard to implement, and it will give your mobile site a life in the fast-lane.
  2. Use HTTP2. One of these is called HTTP2, and you can already use to speed up your site, barring it uses HTTPS. Find out more on performance optimization in an HTTP2 world.
  3. Switch to PHP7. As we primarily use WordPress in this role, getting everyone to use PHP7 is a big deal. To get everyone to move from unsafe and unsupported versions, like PHP5.2 and PHP5.3, we at Yoast created Project WHIP. Moving to PHP7 will give your WordPress site a speed boost, keep it secure and make it future proof.

 

General optimizations.

  • Use a CDN to make sure that your content is delivered from a location close to the visitor. But be ware this has been known to have an effect on web mail. For this reason if you are a business consider using G-Suite. You wont regret it.
  • Use a caching plugin like WP Rocket to keep static parts of your site in the browser cache.
  • GT Metrix – We believe is the go to place to analyse site speed. It will tell you whats wrong, how to fix it and has a nice interface to go with it. Always strive for 80% plus rating

Critical rendering path.

  • Running a PageSpeed Insights test will show you which elements block a page from rendering quickly. The critical rendering path is formed by the object– like CSS and JavaScript– that have to load before the content can show up on screen. Your page will render slowly or not at all if this content is blocked.
  • Pay attention to this and keep the path free of obstacles. At modpagespeed.com you’ll find several open source tools to help you with these issues.

 

WordPress Mobile UX plugin

 

  • Very often the custom wordpress theme just doesn’t cut it when it come to the design of a mobile interface. We had loads of issues with our own theme. After lots of experimentation and time wasting we settled on Shift Nav Pro. Its relatively straight forward to implement and looks great when in place
  • Keep an eye on Google Analytics. You cannot run a business without checking every event through this. we found on our web site, we were having a bounce rate of over 40% on mobile. Now thats a problem. Now with the implementation of our new mobile UX plugin this have be dramatically reduced,

shift nav pro

 

To Recap

 

  • Your mobile site is never too fast, and your customers will never come flocking to you when you shave off just a little of your loading time. Keep working on it. Follow the news to see if there are new ways to speed up your site. It’s official: Google declared that page speed will be a ranking factor in its mobile-first index.
  • At the moment, page speed is more of an indicator than a ranking factor. Unless your mobile site is extremely slow, you can still get decent rankings with average page speeds. Google has recently gone on record saying that page speed will be a ranking factor in its upcoming mobile-first index.
  • Details on how they will evaluate page speed for mobile and calculate rankings are still unknown.Unless your mobile site is extremely slow, you can still get decent rankings with average page speeds. Details on how they will evaluate page speed for mobile and calculate rankings are still unknown.
  • Unless your mobile site is extremely slow, you can still get decent rankings with ordinary page speeds. Google has recently gone on record saying that page speed will be a ranking factor in its upcoming mobile-first index.
  • Details on how they will evaluate page speed for mobile and calculate rankings are still unknown.

2 thoughts on “Is PageSpeed a Google ranking factor and should I care?

  1. This article in on point! We followed Google procedures a while back when we heard pagespeed was becoming a mobile ranking factor and got our website to load in around 1 sec with a perfect 100 on the Google pagespeed score. We are good to go but something we are struggling with is getting our customers to understand the important of site speed not only now but in the near future with Google’s “Speed” update coming this summer. Got any tips on that front?

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