Google recently announced that in July 2018, the mobile algorithm* for ranking websites will start using page speed as a ranking factor.
While this news isn’t a shock to the industry or most digital solution providers (Google started talking about it years ago) the announcement provides a go-live timeframe, which will allow your dealership to prepare and ensure your mobile site remains fully optimized after the algorithm update.
Accordingly, here’s what you need to know now:
1) This is a “Speed Update” that primarily impacts slower sites.
Interestingly, this update isn’t purely about speed. While it’s natural to assume that the faster your site is, the higher it will rank, that’s NOT necessarily the case yet. In truth this update will only negatively impact the mobile SERP visibility for sites that deliver the slowest experience to users.
From Google: “The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. 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.”
There are a couple statements in that paragraph that are worth noting.
- The first is “…regardless of the technology used to build the page”, as it confirms that Google doesn’t have a preference for which technology is used for mobile site delivery but rather that it’s the user experience that is important.
- The second is “…a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.” This statement reinforces the importance of high quality, unique & relevant website content. Google is referring to the type of content that answers users questions and keeps them engaged with the site.
2) If you partner with dealer.com, your site is unlikely to be impacted by the update.
Like any solution provider, Dealer.com will be watching the algorithm update closely and monitoring SERP visibility for our website and SEO clients. Based on the details that Google has provided to date, we do not expect our clients to see any impact.
If you are interested in seeing how Google views your mobile page load times, you can test your site with their Pagespeed Insights Tool. It was recently updated to include data from the Chrome User Experience report. Look forward to an upcoming post discussing this new data set.
As mobile continues to dominate the digital experience, the more informed you are, the better off you will be. Feel free to comment below with your thoughts!
*For more information about Google’s Mobile First Index, please see What Google’s New Mobile-First Indexing Means for Your Dealership Website.