Google's warning to mobile publishers: Slow-loading pages will see reduced rank


On Wednesday 17 January 2018 Google revealed that it will now be using page speed as a ranking factor for mobile searches from July 2018. Google has done this on the desktop for a long time.

The upcoming "Speed Update" is another reminder that marketers need to carefully consider the experience they provide to a mobile audience, and to be prepared for mobile-first indexing from Google, which is now rolling out, to ensure they rank higher in search results. That change focused on ensuring both the mobile site isn't a truncated version of the desktop, and that both contain the same information, which doesn't always happen despite the increasing preference of mobile web browsers over their desktop counterparts.

PageSpeed Insights uses data from the Chrome User Experience Report.

While Google says the update will only impact a "small percentage of queries", businesses may want to hire a mobile design expert with Google AMP experience or have their developers look into the site's design. Google calls it as the "Speed Update", and it's created to downrank websites that are very slow to load. There is no tool that directly indicates whether a page is affected by this new ranking factor. In this example, since users from Search would be seeing an AMP page, the speed of the AMP page would be taken into account. Shockingly, people aren't too happy with Google's current approach towards providing users with a faster mobile web.

Google said the "Speed Update" applies the same standard to all webpages regardless of the technology they're built on. By April of a year ago, Google News started giving priority to news articles published on AMP sites.