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What You Need to Know About The Google Speed Update

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Google is constantly updating its search ranking algorithm to bring more consumers the search results they need in a quicker, more accurate, more pleasant experience. Today, we look at the most recent algorithm update: mobile speed.

Google Speed Update July 2018

Google announced a new ranking algorithm for mobile search that took effect in July 2018. While page loading speed has long been a factor in Google’s search ranking algorithm, it is a newer metric for mobile.

Who will be affected by the Google Speed Update?

The speed update affects brands with the websites whose pages load most slowly. As long as your webpages are loaded moderately stably, you’re okay in this round of the update. The only pages to be removed from Google’s search results are those that are so slow, they deliver a negative experience to the user.

Why is speed so important to Google?

Technology enables quick loading times on websites, including page content, photos and videos. If a page takes too long to load, users lose patience and retreat back to the main search results to scroll for a new, promising URL that will answer their query.

Remember, Google is in the business of providing search results. While they earn from all sorts of entities, their base consumer is the searcher. And what does the searcher want? Quality results for the question or key phrase they type into the search bar.

This is why Google invested so much in understanding consumer search habits and search language; to cater to their search experience and give them exactly the information they’re looking for on a silver platter. When Google is doing its job right, a consumer needs to go no farther than the first page of results to find the answer, product or service for which they’d come to Google to find.

In order to please consumers, Google must ensure the accuracy of the answers and the relevance of products or services that are providing as solutions to consumer searches. And as consumers follow links to expertly curated results, a quality website should welcome consumers to experience the online search experience.

Speed impacts quality experience

The last thing Google wants after its hard work in finding the answers a consumer needs in seconds is leading them to webpage that takes a decade to load. It might sound ridiculous or impatient, but high-speed is an option within the bandwidth of current technology, so it is something consumers expect.

Additionally, Google leads the online search; therefore, they provide the premier experience and set the tone for what consumer can expect when search within any of the big search engines.

If a page loads slowly, consumers leave. If pages consistently load slowly, it shows the consumer that Google did not do its homework; that slow and irritating websites are the only results the search engine giant could find.

google search engine on mobile and tablet

So of course, speed matters. It matters to the consumer; the consumer matters to Google; speed matters to Google; and so, speed matters to you.

Speed affects you, too

While slow loading times on web pages, photos or videos impact Google’s credibility as the leading source of quality information online, loading times reflect on your brand, too. A consumer might not gawk at pages that land lightning-fast (even though you’ve invested heavily to make this a priority) because it is what they expect in a website.

If your web pages or content take more than a few seconds to load, on the other hand, consumers notice and you can bank on them not forgetting.

If you cannot invest enough in your online real estate to provide consumers an up-to-date experience, how can consumers rely on you to give them anything that they need?

Always put speed and loading times are the top of website priorities. If a video is too large for your current webpage bandwidth, bag the video until you can increase the bandwidth of your site. It’s better to not let the consumer know about your creative side than to dull their experience, test their patients and lose them for good.

Why mobile?

For nearly a decade, Google has discussed page loading time as a ranking factor in their algorithm. In 2018, the metric has finally crossed into mobile because mobile is the consumer’s first way to search. When a question comes up, they’re not running to their desktop to search for an answer; they’re opening up their mobile browser and searching Google in the palm of their hand for the information that they need.

Mobile is already cranking as the host for majority of searches, and it isn’t stopping. Mobile will continue to grow this year and into the future, marking its quality and speed more important than ever.

How can I still rank?

If your mobile site is not yet up to speed, but your content is superior to the competition’s, Google will recognize you and reward you for this, for now. Since Google is in the business of search results first, they’re going to give consumers the website that provides the best answer, the most relevant product or the most precise service about which they enquired.

That said, don’t waste time gloating in your content superiority; mobile speed is important and it will negatively impact your ability to get in front of consumers and reach your audience if you do not adjust accordingly, soon.  

If you are not yet optimizing your mobile website for Google’s search ranking algorithm, it’s time to start. A promising way to get moving toward the top of Google’s mobile favor is to work with a team that has the digital experience and savviness to navigate the ranking system and ongoing changes.

Reach out to our team at Executive Digital for a free consultation. Learn more about our services, about what it means to work alongside our marketing experts and how to take your brand to its potential, today.

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