January 22nd, 2018 by Jack Waknitz
It is official: starting in July, 2018, Google will begin taking your page speed score into account when ranking mobile websites. This new level of scrutiny and ranking includes responsive versions of websites as well.
What does this mean for you and your website? Well, let’s get you up to speed …
What is Page Speed?
You’ve undoubtedly heard the term “page speed” bandied about before. “Page speed,” unlike many tech terms, is a fairly intuitive label that references the loading speed of web page.
Don’t confuse page speed with site speed, however! “Site speed” measures the page speed for a sample of page views on a site. Page speed, on the other hand, measures the speed of one page only.
Most use “page speed” to describe “page load time:” how long it takes for a page to fully load. Others use it to reference how long it takes for a browser to receive the first byte of information from a web server. This is also known as “time to first byte.”
No matter which version of page speed you’re measuring, one thing is for sure: faster is better.
In today’s day and age, where it seems like you can get any bit of information you want in the blink of an eye, you wouldn’t think a few seconds would make a difference. In fact, we’ve all become so used to this instant information that our patience is now thinner than ever. Those few seconds can matter a lot and now Google will be making page speed a ranking factor for mobile searches.
How Will The New Page Speed Score Affect Me?
Google has long used page speed score as a ranking factor – but only on desktop searches. As of July, 2018, Google’s “Speed Update” will apply the same standard to all pages, whether they are mobile, responsive, or what have you. (read Google’s Speed Update announcement for more details.)
This change will only affect pages that deliver the slowest content. So, if your site is scoring fairly well on page speed for mobile, you should be unaffected.
What’s My Page Speed?
You can test your site’s page speed by visiting Google’s PageSpeed Insights page. Simply copy and paste your site’s url (web address) into the input and click the “analyze” button.
Page Speed is ranked from 0 to 100. If your site receives a score above 60, you’re fine and can rest assured that Google’s changes will have no effect on your site’s ranking. If, however, your page speed score is 60 or below, you’ll definitely need to think about doing some fine-tuning.
Page Speed Takeaway
It’s important to remember that page speed isn’t everything. Relevant content remains king. Google assures us that the intent of the search query remains a very strong signal in their algorithm – and that’s good news! This means that a slow page with great and relevant content will still be able to rank highly. So good things, as they say, will still come to those who wait.
The real take away from Google’s page speed update is that, if your site is scoring well, you and your web developer are doing it right.
InsideOut Solutions recommends periodically checking your site score and making adjustments when needed. If your current web host is unable to make these changes for you, we may be able to help.
Contact us today to find out what we can do for you!