Mobile Speed Update: Google's Latest Search Ranking Factor

Website Development Estimated Reading Time 4 mins
Updated December 11, 2023Published March 17, 2018
Author: Visibee
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Nowadays, almost everyone is using mobile devices to access the internet and search in Google. Thus, the number of mobile searches is blowing up. Recently, Google has confirmed a new ranking algorithm targeting mobile search called “Speed Update” which indicates that owners should improve their websites in order to rank well on Google and will down rank very slow websites with a small percentage of queries under certain conditions.

Page speed has always been a quality indicator for Google regarding user's experience. Under the change, Google will take page speeds as major signal in determining a website’s ranking for mobile searches. The company has previously used speed as a factor on desktop, but this will mark the first time Google has done so on mobile.

Why mobile optimized website is important?

When it comes to your website’s online success, you have to ensure your site is optimized for mobile SEO. Mobile is the dominant platform for searches with 48% of buyers using a smartphone to start searching with a search engine. According to a study, 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site. This means that you need to make sure your website is responsive and ready for mobile search because a poor mobile presence can make your organization look unprofessional and out of touch with the modern consumer.

How to prepare for the Speed Update in 2024?

1. Ensure your site is responsive for both desktop and mobile.

Currently, Google has two search indexes (mobile and desktop) so make sure your website layout and content are optimized for ANY type of device. Responsive Web Design is about using CSS and HTML to resize, hide, shrink, enlarge, or move the content to make it look good on any screen and furnish the best possible experience.

2. Make your site designed for any type of mobile device.

Mobile-friendly websites are no longer optional. As Speed Update focuses on mobile searches, you should make your website mobile-friendly by creating a mobile version of your desktop site and make sure all elements of your site can be crawled on mobile. You can use Google’s mobile usability test or Google Mobile- Friendly test to identify if your site has any mobile usability issues.

3. Ensure a fast site’s speed.

Google’s Speed Update has made page speed a major concern, as speed is the most essential aspect in SEO regardless of device. However, mobile appears to be far more important when it comes to page speed as mobile site visitors have been shown to be extensively less patient when waiting for sites to load. e sure to test for issues with your mobile site speed, and be aware of the things that can slow it down, like images and JavaScript.

4. Consider your content.

Make sure your content actually loads fast to any device and align content with SEO to deliver a good experience to users. And, doesn’t hide content on mobile versions of your site.

Conclusion: Google focuses at not just speed, but overall mobile user experience with this update

In other words, site owners who want to rank well in Google need to pay attention to more than just page speed. Although speed will become the major factor in determining the order of mobile search results, the Speed Update is not so drastic as to make it the only factor. Above all, a mobile website should enable users to have the most relevant content related to the search query at hand in order to efficiently get what they are exactly looking for to continue to build a great search experience, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices. If you achieve Google’s goal of offering a better overall experience for all mobile users, you should be able to stay on the right side of the Speed Update algorithm.

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