Google’s blog has announced a “speed update” for mobile pages. The ranking of mobile pages on Google search will be based on loading speed — so slower pages will rank lower, which is intended to improve mobile browsing experience. The tweak is expected to become effective by July 2018.
Limited to Desktop
Previously, page load speeds were used to rank websites on desktop only. This move by Google will not only unify mobile and desktop, but also streamline mobile search experience.
Earlier, Google removed the “Instant Search” feature from desktop (displaying results as you type), which was also aimed at unifying the desktop and mobile search.
Google’s Tools to The Rescue
Developers and media websites can gauge their mobile webpage performance with Google’s automated tools to make sure they don’t fall in search rankings. These tools include Lighthouse, PageSpeed Insights and Chrome User Experience.
Devs tend to be careful, but Google’s blog offers consolation: the affected pages would amount to only a small percentage of the slowest web pages. Also, pages with excellent and relevant content based on search queries might still rank high with slow speeds.
In 2018, one tends to forget that Google was once only a search engine, but the tech giant is still intent upon improving its core function. Given the information from Google’s blog, one can only wait for July to understand the criterion for future search rankings.