Google begins to penalize slow sites on mobile

After forcing web editors to adapt their designs to mobile device screens, and after forcing them to adopt HTTPS for security, Google will also entice publishers whose sites are slow (on mobile) to optimize these.

In January, the Mountain View Company announced an update to its search engine called Speed update. As the name suggests, with this update, Google wants to speed up the loadings of the pages.

Although speed has been used in the classification for some time, this signal was focused on computer searches. Today we announce that from July 2018, the speed of the page will be a ranking factor for searches on mobile, said Google.

When he created his search engine, the majority of users were in front of a computer. But with the explosion of the smartphone market, mobile platforms are now more important than computers, and some companies have even switched from mobile-friendly (a smartphone-compatible design) to mobile-first (the Mobile is more important than computers).

In an update on the blog post he published in January, Google announces today that the Speed Update is now deployed "for all users".

The firm explained that this update will only affect Web pages "that provide the slowest experience to users and affect only a small percentage of queries."

A few days after this deployment, a Google employee also gave some clarifications:

  • Update Speed update only affects slower sites
  • These can improve gradually, even if the ideal is to improve the experience in a meaningful way
  • If your site is (already) "reasonably fast", tweaking it will not change things (compared to the Speed Update)

In other words, if your site is already performing, optimizing it (even if it's always recommended) will not change anything. On the other hand, if it is slow, it would be better to touch the code in order to avoid being penalized by the search engine.

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