Technology

Slow Websites Will Now Suffer From Lower Google Mobile Search Rank

Google is always working to better optimize their search results, and it appears as if Google Mobile search rank is going to be adjusted to decrease the visibility of slower-loading sites.

Google Mobile Search Rank
Image source: Integrated Change/Flickr

Google Mobile Search Rank

Browsing the Internet on your phone is generally still a slower experience, as many sites aren’t optimized for mobile viewing. When pages load slower, people get frustrated, and Google always prioritizes the most relevant and convenient results when providing information to in a web search. The company has since merged a dedicated Google Mobile search into their main desktop search engine technology – looking for more continuity between computers and mobile devices.

This so-called “Speed Update” will purportedly only affect sites that “deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries,” according to a statement released on Google’s blog. It’s anyone’s guess as to how the Google Mobile search rank algorithm will be adjusted in order to address slower pages, and the way in which the company ranks the sites in general is complicated enough that people dedicate their entire careers to making sure that pages show up higher in search results.

Google has assured worried website owners that the primary metric for Google Mobile search rank will continue to be relevance and value. While in the early stages it was possible to game the system by littering an article with keywords, the algorithm is much smarter now and generally seems to present the content with the most relevance in a given web search.

“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.”

For website owners who are worried about their pages being affected in terms of Google Mobile search rank, the company recommends that developers look at the Chrome User Experience Report, the automated tool Lighthouse, and PageSpeed Insights.

Better Results and Better Business

The decrease in Google Mobile search rank for slow pages will apply regardless of what technology it’s built with, continuing to prioritize fast pages with the most relevant content regardless of the infrastructure behind the website itself.

While this update on the Google Mobile search rank may be unfortunate to website owners who are a little behind the times, the fact remains that more and more people are using their mobile devices as the primary way in which they access the internet. With the entirety of the Internet in their pocket, it’s become very easy to access what you need right when you need it.
By prioritizing pages that load quickly, more people will use the service which leads to more data for Google – and data is the primary way in which the search engine giant earns their money. Overall, the decision to affect Google Mobile search rank in this way is as much a business decision as it is an effort to increase convenience for their users. By ensuring that the most relevant results are always at the top of the list, the company can get the maximum results for their advertisers.