Google recently announced that they will start to use the loading speed of your website as a ranking factor in its mobile search engine results pages.
Google’s Gary Illyes advised of the impending change during a recent Google hangout and also advised that businesses should expect to see the impact of this within just a few months.
Over 50% of all web searches are now made via a smartphone or tablet and this is increasing month on month. Despite this many business website’s are not truly mobile friendly or “responsive”. Unless your website has been developed specifically for mobile, many standard website load very slowly on a tablet or phone and also they are difficult to read and not user friendly.
Google’s plan to factor in page load speed to its algorithm for mobile search is just one of many in the pipeline. Google Software Engineer, Klemen Kloboves said “Last year, we started using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal on mobile searches. Today we’re announcing that beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.”
At present Google does not separate desktop ranking signals from mobile ranking signals so if your website loads fast on a desktop but loads slowly on a mobile there is no penalty. This will change in the next few months. An investment made now in a new, fully responsive website design will be rewarded with better search rankings and increased Google visibility in the future.
In addition to the mobile page load speed update, Google also confirmed that it is working on a wholly separate mobile search index, likely to be launched when their next updates – including the mobile-friendly algorithm – come into force.
However there are still some problems to overcome before the new index can be rolled out. One of the biggest issues is a loss of ranking signals when converting parts of the current Google index into a mobile one.
If you are unsure whether your business website is mobile friendly or not Google has recently updated its mobile friendly testing tool which can be found here: https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly
For more information about mobile friendly web design or search engine optimisation please leave a comment below of call us on 01293 822755