If SEO is a consideration for your business, you’ve may have already heard about Google’s SEO update last July. It took almost six months of preparation, but the Google Speed Update was created to focus on the mobile search rankings of the slowest of sites on the internet.
The reasoning for the change is pretty simple. When searching on Google or other search engines, people want to be able to find answers to their questions as fast as possible. In fact, studies show that slow pages can lead to a significant loss of business.
Introducing the Google Speed Update
The “Speed Update,” as Google calls it only impacts pages that deliver the slowest experience to users. Additionally, it will only affect a small percentage of queries. The same standard will be applied to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. Delivering relevant content to a search inquiry is still a top priority, so a slow page may still maintain a topnotch rank—if the delivers great content.
As a team of Vancouver SEO consultants, it’s important for developers to think broadly about how performance will affect the end user experience. Google considers a variety of user experience metrics. Although there is no tool that will indicate if your page was penalized by Google, there are a variety of user-centric metrics to consider.
User-centric performance metrics
When a user navigates to a web page, they’re typically looking for visual feedback to reassure them that everything is going to work as expected.
|Is it working?||Did the navigation start successfully? Has the server responded?|
|Is it useful?||Has enough content rendered that users can engage with it?|
|Is it usable?||Can users interact with the page, or is it still busy loading?|
|Is it delightful?||Are the interactions smooth and natural, free of lag and jank?|
For those wondering how to check speed and enhance their pages, Google says it uses a number of tools. Some of the metrics recommended to web developers and webmasters include Chrome User Experience report, the Lighthouse tool and PageInsights tool. By checking these, you can ensure your website meets minimal requirements for speed—so you can focus on other SEO requirements.