03 June 2016

Changes to Mobile Page Speed Rankings

By Aaron Price

Mobile Page Speed

Google have recently been announcing changes and updates to their mobile friendly algorithm and the recent news could affect you.

Up until now, Google has used desktop speeds as a factor to rank pages in their search results, but that is about to change. Luckily the changes won’t take place for a few months but they are expected to come into effect within a year. This means that you have some time to improve your mobile page speeds before it starts to become a ranking factor on Google. But what exactly do these new changes mean and how can you prepare for them? We have put together all the information you need to prepare for the changes and make sure your site is up to speed.

Page Speed Changes

The announcement came recently at a Search Marketing Summit in Sydney from Gary Illyes, a Webmaster Analyst from Google. He announced that Google will be updating its ranking factors to include the page speed for mobile sites. This comes as part of a recent update Google has made to their mobile friendly algorithms, that hopes to give an additional ranking boost for mobile friendly pages. They eventually hope to add mobile page speed as a ranking factor and not have to rely on the desktop version. At the moment, web pages that have a fast page speed on a desktop but poor mobile speeds can still rank highly in Google’s results, which is something they are looking to change. This means if your mobile page speed is slow you could be affected by the changes.

How do I find out my mobile page speed?

Google have launched a new tool that is easy to use and helps you understand your mobile site speed. The new landing page will test how mobile friendly your website is and give you page speed for mobile and desktop all in one place. This way you can get all three scores and aspects of your website performance on one page. The test gives you a nice overview and you can get a free report emailed to you from Google outlining what needs to be improved to help your website perform better on mobile devices. You can take the test here and see for yourself how your website ranks. We tried it on Google so you can see how it will look and, as you can see, even they have some work to do on their site!

So what now?

Ideally, you want to try and get page speed on mobile down to under 1 second. This can prove to be extremely difficult as there is always time needed on mobile to render the page that you wouldn’t usually need for desktop sites. Therefore, you should focus on delivering the above the fold (ATF) content in less than one second. Google’s research shows that if a page takes longer than 1 second to load then the user loses their train of thought and has a negative experience on the site. This means that the rest of the page can load in the background while the user interprets the first page of content.

If you are already confused about the changes that you need to make then it might be worth considering turning to a digital marketing agency for help. Although the changes don’t come into effect just yet, you should start to prepare and optimise your page to give you the best performance. We can help you prepare for this and make sure that your site is fully optimised for mobile page speed.

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