Google will now prioritize speed for mobile searches, effective July 2018 for all websites. The new development has been labeled the speed update, and it is effective for all new users. Google’s Webmaster Blog has indicated providing more details on the new update. Whereby the search algorithm used by Google will now prioritize sites that have fast mobile loading speeds. Web publishers will now have to ensure that their sites are also mobile responsive to boost rankings.
Google search has always prioritized content over other factors. Now although speed will not be their only consideration, the sites with the best content may rank lower depending on their speeds. Google has also encouraged webmasters to utilize tools to test and optimize their pages for better load times. For those concerned with their page rankings, to check their pages ranks sites like the Chrome User Interface Report is available. More sites include Lighthouse and Page Speed Insights to evaluate a page’s performance.
As the speed update is not a tool that can be used to assess pages can use, webmasters are advised to follow up using the tools mentioned above. Google has made it clear that page speed is a priority for them. Especially after the introduction to accelerated mobile pages sites also known as AMP in 2016. This gives room for the AMP sites to receive an advantage on better rankings with the new speed update as they load faster than traditional websites. It is not obvious they will be given priority as the online market is generally competitive.
To add to the news of a speed update, Google has in the past updated their search index to favor the mobile version over the desktop version. Taking into account that most consumers today use their phones for almost everything.
Do you think the speed update is a good idea, or should Google have just stuck with content?