Do you want to get your website to the top of Google SERPs in 2018? Then you need to be aware that Google just announced another update to its search engine algorithm that will become effective in July 2018: the Google Speed update.
What is the Google Speed Update?
As you know, Google heavily weighs the user experience that a website provides when ranking content. A website that is slow to load takes away from the user experience.
Google announced in 2010 that page speed was a factor when ranking content, but it was really only applicable for desktop searches. With so many searches now being performed using mobile devices, the Google Speed update will start to take into account mobile page speed when ranking content.
According to Google, only a small percentage of search queries will be impacted by the Google Speed update. The pages that offer the slowest load speeds will be impacted the most.
How to Prepare Your Website for the Google Speed Update
If you’re unsure about how your website will stand up to Google’s latest algorithm update, you still have several months to prepare.
Here are several steps that your business needs to take to get your mobile website speed up to par with Google’s standards:
1. Test Your Website Speed.
When was the last time you tested the mobile speed of your website? Google offers a free TestMySite tool that will make you aware of your current mobile website speed and identify ways that you can improve. You can even use this tool to see how your website speed stands up to your competition.
2. Use Search Console and PageSpeed Insights to Your Advantage.
Google offers a number of free tools to help you improve the performance of your website, and it’s in your best interest to use these tools to gain a competitive edge with your search strategy.
The Google Search Console allows you to check the indexing status of your website to optimize your visibility.
Google PageSpeed Insights analyzes the pages on your website and offers suggestions for how you can improve your website speed.
3. Consider User Intent.
While the Google Speed update focuses on mobile page speed, user intent is also a crucial piece of criteria that Google will use when ranking content.
Consumers that perform searches using mobile devices tend to type (or speak) shorter queries and place emphasis on speed and simplicity. Consider the keywords and phrases that mobile users are typing or speaking while on-the-go. In some cases, fast fingers can lead to typos, which creates an opportunity to rank for keywords that businesses may not be targeting.
In summary, the Google Speed update won’t be effective until July, so you still have several months to improve your website speed and overall user experience. Take the time now to optimize your website for mobile visitors to improve your Google search ranking in 2018.