Google to Ding Sluggish Sites in Mobile Search Rankings

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Google on Wednesday announced that page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches, starting in July. Speed already has been a factor in desktop search rankings. Soon, as part of Google’s new “Speed Update,” page loading time will be factored in when ranking mobile search results as well.

The change will affect only pages that deliver the slowest experience to users, according to Google, and thus should affect only a small percentage of searches. Sites that are very slow will be down-ranked accordingly, but it is not clear whether extremely fast sites will earn a rankings boost.

The same standards will be applied to all pages, regardless of the technology that underlies them. Further, a slow page still could rank higher than faster pages if the slower page provides content considered more relevant to the specific search.

Google called upon the development community to consider how a site’s performance can impact the user’s experience, and it highlighted a number of user experience metrics for making assessments.

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