Page speed to be a Mobile Ranking Factor
Google have long used desktop page speed as a ranking factor, and this is now coming to mobile from July 2018. This is perhaps the first notable move towards a mobile first index.
Personally, I’ve always measured and addressed both desktop and mobile page speed. If anything, I’ve focused more on mobile as speed it’s more of a concern in terms of conversion rates. User’s generally have a lower speed connection and a shorter attention span on mobile devices.
However, I would note caution with how you address this:
Importantly – this only impacts ‘slow’ sites. If you already have a fast site, then further increasing mobile speed won’t increase your mobile rank. How Google exactly measure ‘speed’ is unknown, however for me it makes sense to measure and improve ‘First Contentful Paint’s speed https://t.co/8iQ8sqM5eg
— Andrew Gloyns (@gloyns) January 18, 2018
You can test your site’s perceived speed with Google’s new and improved Pagespeed Insights tool.
Here’s a nice screenshot of a client I recently completed a page speed audit for #justsaying ;-)
What this means for you
How to improve page speed hugely varies per site, however you can generally summarise it as:
- Load fewer things on the page (do you really need aaallll those scripts?). This has a massive impact on 3g connections.
- Load things in the right order (for the techies, this is the Critical Render Path). This is the most difficult but also has the biggest impact.
Generally, most people only focus on minifying and compression as a) most generic articles on page speed talk to this and b) they’re the easiest and quickest to do. To that I would use an analogy… (yes, I know you love them dearly…bear with me).
When you’re packing a suitcase. what has the biggest impact on how easy it is to close the lid?
- Sitting on the lid and squishing it until it closes
- Removing clothes you don’t actually need
- Packing things in the right order
2 and 3 right? Yeah, that’s like removing files you don’t need and then loading them in the right order.
Trouble getting buy-in for investment in page speed optimisation?
Here’s another useful page speed tool from Google where you can input your site and get some feedback on the time is takes to load plus how many visitors you’re losing from it.
Looks like amaysim have some work to do (not a client btw. Obviously eh haha).
Algorithm Update see’s large bump in video and reviews in search results
December is traditionally a quiet month for algorithm updates however the industry recognised a fair amount of volatility in search results through December.
There was the usual chatter about spam being impacted through doorway pages and private blog networks etc however I appear (worryingly) to be the only one to notice a huge bump in the prevalence of videos and reviews within mobile search results from 20th December.
Check this out. Quite the jump.
Source: SEMRush Sensor
What this means for you
- Got videos on Youtube? Optimise your videos correctly and you could well see these getting more traffic directly via Google search.
- Got reviews on your site? Use structured data markup to ensure these are recognised as reviews and displayed within search results.