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Mobility

If your company's mobile site loads slowly, it will hurt your Google search rankings

Beginning in July, a new plan will cause slower pages to show lower in results, but will still factor in relevant content.

Three ways to reduce your smartphone data use
Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • In July 2018, Google will begin considering page speed when ranking mobile search results.
  • While Google will rank slower mobile pages lower in search results, it will still factor in relevant content and other factors.

Google will make page speed a ranking factor for mobile search results, the company announced Tuesday.

Set to start in July, the Speed Update will only impact a small amount of the slowest pages, the company said. Relevant content is still a strong signal, however, so users may still see slower pages if they respond to their query.

While Google says the update will only impact a "small percentage of queries," businesses may want to hire a mobile design expert with Google AMP experience or have their developers look into the site's design. In the mobile design, consider reducing the amount of images or page elements to cut down load time.

The update will apply the same speed criteria to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build them, our sister site ZDNet said.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

There has been a speed factor in ranking desktop searches since 2010. Now similar considerations will be made for mobile users, allowing for potentially speedier searches. Users may waste less time and data on sites too slow to open on a mobile device.

Needing to have a faster site may be good for companies, too. In February, Google found 53% of site visits are ended if the site doesn't load within three seconds. While the update is slated to only impact the slowest pages, companies may want to find ways to speed up their mobile pages to keep users' attention.

Google recommended sites use tools like PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, and Chrome User Experience Report to check their speed and improve it, if necessary.

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Image: iStockphoto/Ivanko_Brnjakovic
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