Last week, Google announced the launch of a mobile search ranking algorithm update in July 2018. The update aims to improve mobile user experiences by penalizing pages with the slowest load times. It also has implications for marketing agencies involved in search engine optimization.
Per Google’s Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan:
“The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”
The update is consistent with Google’s gradual prioritization of mobile search. In February 2016, for example, it began to highlight Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) in preferential positions in mobile search engine results pages (SERPs). And in recent days, Google has announced a series of new AMP features, including AMP Stories and AMP for email. The mobile-first search index, which Google is in the process of rolling out, will also emphasize site speed and mobile UX, both of which search engine optimization professionals should already be aware of.
As a Premier Google Partner All-Star Agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media has long considered page speed an important facet of our technical search engine optimization program. With mobile queries now accounting for the majority of all searches, we have made it a priority to ensure our clients are equipped with responsive, mobile-friendly websites that are optimized for use on smartphones and tablets.
Google wants to provide its users with the best possible online experience. By optimizing your mobile website, you can help Google achieve this goal.