Google have confirmed that the “Speed Update,” as they’re calling it, is now a ranking factor for mobile searches:
People want to be able to find answers to their questions as fast as possible — studies show that people really care about the speed of a page. Although speed has been used in ranking for some time, that signal was focused on desktop searches. Today we’re announcing that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches.
Although there is no tool that indicates whether a page is affected by this new Google ranking factor, there are some resources that can be used to evaluate a page’s performance.
- Chrome User Experience Report, a public dataset of key user experience metrics for popular destinations on the web, as experienced by Chrome users under real-world conditions
- PageSpeed Insights, a tool that indicates how well a page performs on the Chrome UX Report and suggests performance optimisation
Google doesn’t always announce search ranking factor updates unless they are pretty significant or can impact websites on a large scale. Google have only done this a couple of times and usually it is to give website owners an opportunity to improve their websites without any negative impact on search result placement.
With Mobile First indexing ramping up, this seems like a good opportunity for website owners to take time to improve mobile performance.