Google: Mobile Page Speed Now a Ranking Factor

It has been rumored and anticipated for a long time. Now it’s here: mobile page speed is a formal ranking factor. Google made the announcement earlier today, pointing out that speed has long been a desktop ranking variable.

Here’s what the company said on its Webmaster Central Blog:

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. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.

Google added, “Although there is no tool that directly indicates whether a page is affected by this new ranking factor, here are some resources that can be used to evaluate a page’s performance”:

Google has not said anything about AMP and whether pages built in AMP will get a boost. In the past the company has explicitly said AMP is not a ranking factor. But at that time it also was not using speed as a mobile ranking factor either. Still it’s unlikely to favor AMP pages per se. 

Late last year, ahead of expectations, Google began to roll out its “mobile-first” index. It won’t be fully implemented until probably later this year, given that it’s rolling out very slowly. But that will ultimately become Google’s principal index.

Undoubtedly many poorly built, non-mobile friendly SMB websites will be impacted by the new variable.

2 Responses to “Google: Mobile Page Speed Now a Ranking Factor”

  1. Peter09 says:

    Thank you for the tools for website performance optimization. Chrome Lighthouse looks really good, I’m going to try this one. Although making mobile page speed a Google ranking factor doesn’t seem to me like a good idea. There are some businesses and industries, in which customers barely use mobile pages. I think of some advanced pages enabling the creation of graphics projects for example, where you need to focus and spend some time on it. You don’t do that on your smartphone. What’s going to happen with them?

  2. Greg Sterling says:

    In those cases people will likely use multiple resources including PC websites. I think buyers aren’t dumb, but marketers/sellers need to offer the best mobile experience they can; that’s the world we’re in now.

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