At the start of 2018, Google announced that it would be coming out with its new update specifically for Google mobile in July and the update is finally here. Google’s new “Speed Update” will completely change how pages and websites are ranked and how Adsense and AdWord play their role in getting the most out of a website. The page’s speed will now act as a major leading factor in determining which website merits the top rank and which should be shoved down back to the bottom again. If you are someone already spending the big bucks for your mobile ventures, you better take a seat and get that notepad out.
A lot of you reading this this would be thinking “hey my organic search presence and my website is designed for the desktop so I’m totally safe”
Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.
In the last two to three years, the research conducted has shown that a vast majority of Google searches are originated from mobile phones, which makes it safe to say that people use mobile phones more than they use their desktops; so if your website is not well equipped and designed around its utilization for the mobile phone, this new Google update might derail your business.
The Search Index
There are currently two search indexes for now: desktop and mobile phone. Each index is evaluated while ranking the websites based upon user experience. The thorough research conducted shows that people tend to reach out for their phones more, using the Google search bar or voice search since it is easier and efficient. This leads to them using most websites on their phone rather than the desktop; so from July 2018, Google has made the mobile index its primary index, which means that now the ranking would depend significantly upon how a website is performing on mobile devices.
Changes that come with the New Update
Not a lot has been said regarding the new update yet or how the owners should change the website but here’s what’s apparent:
- Only the websites that provide the slowest experience to its users will be affected. Every webpage, especially the home page has a “nineteen second rule”. If your pages take up about 19 seconds to load completely, it does fall under the category for being slow and the new update will apply.
- The update does not discriminate based upon the technological tool used to build it like AMP URL’s or Canonical URL’s, whichever one delivers a slow performance; it will affect the ranking.
- No notification will be given to the developer or the webmaster to know that the new update is being applied to their website but Google has recommended the use for PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse to calculate the performance of their website and make changes accordingly. You can learn more about the Speed Update on this blog by PNC, a digital agency known for its SEO services in Orlando.
- This new update stresses upon the fact that now developers have to think outside of the box and come up with ways in which they can improve speed as well as their content.
- Relevant content is still a major factor in a website’s ranking. If your website has the best content but it’s slacking off a little in the speed department, it would still be ranked highly.
- The update does not apply to websites or web pages that are already performing well.
What Google Wants You to Know
With this update, Google, in a very unsubtle way, was hinting towards the fact that web developers need to focus more on making User Experience better. It is not just the loading speed of the webpage that has to improve but the design, graphics, and content with it also need to be improved. All three elements combined will determine the ranking of your webpage.
What Should Developers Do?
There are many steps that you need to take in order to make your website better and more efficient, not only on mobile phone but also on desktop and tablet. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while updating your website:
- Design your website according to the mobile index. Since the mobile index is now the primary index, your priority must be mobile. The layout of the website should be a slimmed down version of your desktop design but also easy to navigate with minimal to no full page pop up pages.
- Optimize the images before you upload them on the website. Make multiple sizes of the same image to target different viewport such as mobile, tablets, desktops etc.
There will be a significant drop in ranking of your website if your desktop version is your priority. The future is now mobile, and you better adapt accordingly.