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20 January 2018, 03:56 | Kristen Gross
Image source Integrated Change Flickr
The company today announced it will start considering page speed as an additional factoring when determining the order in which mobile search results are shown. They added that "the intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content". Mobile-first indexing is a major shift away from the current practice of using computer programs to crawl, index and rank websites by first looking at the desktop version.
Developers are encouraged to think broadly about how performance affects a user's experience of their page and to consider a variety of user experience metrics.
As of July 2018, Google will put what it's calling the "speed update" in place.
This will affect a small percentage of queries. For sites that are not in the Chrome User Experience Report data set, we recommend using Lighthouse to evaluate the performance of a page.
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This is completely algorithmic.
There has been a speed factor in ranking desktop searches since 2010. The data reflects how mobile users actually experienced popular web destinations and is created to give webmasters pointers on how to replicate that experience on their own sites. Arguably, load time is even more important on mobile because the user is often in motion or is otherwise in a worse position to wait around for web pages to load.
Google also promises that the same standards will apply to all pages, whatever technology has been used to build them. By April of past year, Google News started giving priority to news articles published on AMP sites.
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