Google announced that starting in July 2018, the speed of a web page will be a ranking factor for searches on mobile devices.
There are studies showing the importance they place people at the speed of a page. 22 seconds is the average time it takes to fully load a mobile site . 53% of visitors leave the site if it takes more than three seconds. What a problem, right?
The Speed Update , as Google calls it, will only affect the pages that offer the slowest experience. It will affect a small percentage of inquiries. It will not take into account the technology used to build the page: it will be the same for everyone. Either way, content is still salvation. The purpose of the search remains critical: a slow page can score high if its content is excellent and relevant.
There is no specific tool to indicate if a page is affected by this new ranking factor. However, Google recommends three resources to evaluate the performance of a page.
- The Chrome User Experience Report is a public dataset of key user experience metrics for popular destinations on the web. Take into account how Chrome users experience in real life conditions.
- Lighthouse is an open source automated tool and part of the Chrome Developer Tools. It allows auditing the quality (performance, accessibility and more) of web pages.
- PageSpeed Insights is the tool we usually use in MD. Indicates how well a page performs in the Chrome UX report. Your suggestions on performance optimizations are very helpful.
From MD we want to recommend a fourth resource: GTmetrix . It is a free tool that allows you to analyze the loading speed of a website, and does not depend (like the three resources recommended by Google) on Chrome.
A simple but necessary corollary to clarify: the Speed Update will not imply that a fast site will rise in the ranking per se . As this is a penalty on slow sites, it is possible that a fast site will climb but only to the detriment of the sites that will be penalized. So, pay attention! Don’t let the competition beat you because of your fault.