Will Google Downgrade Slow Sites for Mobile Searches?

Will Google Downgrade Slow Sites for Mobile Searches?

In the year 2000, a library science instructor advised her students to keep a jar of jelly beans or something beside their computers. “Don’t just keep poking at your computer,” she said, “It will just lock it up or you will get dozens of responses all at once.” This was in the early years of the Internet when many outlying areas could not get Internet or could only get dial-up.

Speed is of the Essence for Computer Web Pages

Mobile users are highly unlikely to keep a pocketful of jelly beans to help them be patient with slow-loading web pages. According to Whiz, a software development company, a one-second delay in loading a website leads to 11% fewer page views, 16% less customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions. If your bottom line depends on your Internet traffic, these kinds of figures for a one-second delay can be deadly in a computer environment where most of the digital natives are used to playing computer games where timing is vital – especially when playing as a team. Whereas that group of future librarians might cultivate the patience to wait for a computer page to load (and consume many jelly beans), today’s 21-century students not only do not have the patience to wait, they don’t have the time.

Google Will Adjust Page Ranking to Include Speed in July 2018

Google announced that their next upgrade will not necessarily reward the fastest sites, but that it is likely to downgrade the slowest for SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Some websites might be retained for the quality of information, but if two websites are in all other ways equal, the slower one will receive a lower rank than the faster one. The comment added that it will only be the very slowest websites that will be affected, and that it will still not affect general indexing.

Mobile Searches Will Feel Impact First

Mobile search is likely to be the first area to feel the update. The change in the way SERPs display could take several months, but website developers might have little warning before the change hits. It is a good idea to start checking your website and to cut out any slow-loading pictures or video, and to find alternative ways to give your public the information.

How to Prepare for Google’s July 2018 Update

The specific metrics are not known – Google is holding those cards close to the chest, as always — but it is a good idea to streamline your website at all times. Avoid large graphics that load slowly. Incorporate information that gives good value. Use a utility such as Lighthouse Tools, PageSpeed Insights, or Google’s own Chrome User Experience Report to evaluate your website’s performance. Use compact scripts and tighten up any language that tends to drag on the speed – such as JavaScript. The goal is to make your website better and faster – and that cannot be a bad thing.

Google is Not the Only Web Browser

Google is not the only web browser available to users. Microsoft’s Bing remains an industry leader, as does Yahoo. Firefox provides a streamlined open source search engine for those who are dedicated to opting out of the big corporate scene. If you use a Kindle Fire, then Silk is your preferred browser – dedicated to all things Amazon. With that said, Google is setting an industry standard for speed, accuracy, breadth of search and SEO frustration. With the incorporation of Google AdWords, Google sites, Google Docs and Google Scholar, there are few areas where Google doesn’t provide services for a broad spectrum of users. Therefore, when Google says it’s going to make a change, Internet web designers listen.

Who is Likely to be Affected by the Change

Websites that are graphics heavy, novice web designs that use the most accessible scripts, and older websites that are rarely updated are likely to be the ones most affected by the downgrading for speed. Chances are, your average user won’t notice a difference – other than not having to keep a pocketful of jelly beans to invoke saintly patience while waiting for a website to load. For the most part, they aren’t waiting for those websites, anyway, because they have three minutes to get to the next thing – and seconds count.

Quality Will be Even More Important

Website quality will be even more important than ever – and it was always important. Pictures that load quickly and easily, solid information that’s well-researched, accurate pricing and friendly non-salesy wording on commercial sites will continue to be hallmarks of good web construction.