October 12, 2018

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How the Google Speed Update (2018) affects your ranking

Nobody likes a slow website. Visitors will leave quickly, and Google also pays attention to your website’s page load speed. That’s why savvy website owners have already been speed optimizing their web content for years. Anyone who has failed to do so will probably notice a negative difference in the search results since the most recent Google Speed Update. These are the most important changes to know about:

Mobile speeds now officially a ranking factor

Even though load speed has been a factor in your search result ranking since 2009, until recently that was officially focused on desktop results exclusively. Since the Google Speed Update, the search engine explicitly pays attention to the load speed of your website on mobile devices.

Test how quickly your own website loads on mobile

Do you want to know how well your own website scores in terms of speed? You can use the official Google tool – Test My Site – to find out how quickly it loads and what you can do to improve its speed.

Source: GTmetrix – Recommendations to make a website load faster

Another handy tool to measure your website’s speed is available from GTmetrix. This site also offers a more realistic picture of your mobile page speed. In contrast to Google, GTmetric runs its tests using a speedier 4G connection instead of a relatively slow 3G connection.

Significant risks for very slow sites

Does this Google Speed Update mean that the average webmaster should start worrying? Probably not.

Only the slowest sites will get penalized by this update. Think of websites that (in the year 2018!) still aren’t mobile-friendly. It’s no excuse that the majority of your visitors accesses your site on a desktop – for example in B2B sectors. Any penalty is related to overall search results across desktop and mobile.

Speed is only 1 of the 200 ranking signals

Loading speed is only one of the two hundred factors that Google weighs to determine your position in search results. It is an element of what’s called technical optimization. In combination with authority and content optimization, it makes up the field of SEO expertise.

Textmetrics helps you optimize your content for Google. While you write, you’ll get real-time tips to make your content easier to find.

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