Tips to prepare for Google’s speed update

Google has announced this January an exciting change when it comes to their mobile search ranking. In essence, the idea is to use page speed as a major factor to determine both the organic ranking and the AdWords Quality Score.

The good news is that you have until July 2018 to prepare for the upcoming change.

Let’s have a look at this upcoming release in more detail.


What is it?

It’s true that speed for a while has been a determining factor for your search ranking, but from July onwards speed will have officially a significant impact specifically on your mobile ranking.

Imagine if you get bumped from page 1 to page 2 of any search results. This could potentially make or break your business.


Why is Google doing this?

Given the fact that global mobile traffic has already surpassed desktop traffic since Oct 16 according to StatCounter, it makes sense to improve the mobile search experience.

On a side note, if you are not leveraging mobile for your Marketing or AdWords campaign, you may miss out on a lot of additional revenues and new customers.


How is this going to impact my site?

According to Google this new release will only affect a small percentage of search queries and predominantly impact your pages which “deliver the slowest experience to users”.

The more difficult question is what exactly you need to do to benefit from the update.


What do I need to do?

You could consider following actions to boost your mobile search ranking.


1. Review all Search related Analytics insights

Spend some time to analyse your Search Console to identify any usability issues. You could, for example, check if you have any Crawl Errors or reviewing the mobile usability report.

You may want to look at other page performance assessment tools to get a better idea of the areas of improvement such as:


2. Consider switching to AMP Pages

This enables you to display a simplified version of your HTML page, but you may need to make sacrifices on your page design.

AMP Pages are not the only way to provide lightning fast mobile search experiences.

If you want to learn more about AMP Pages, you could have a look at this epic post from Moz on Accelerated Mobile Pages.


3. Adapt to mobile search Intent

Most mobile users are searching differently than on a desktop. They are typing short and simple queries and interesting enough according to a Google study 40% of mobile searches have a local intent.

For example, you may search for a “Restaurant near me” or a “Coffee near me”.


4. Optimise your AdWords landing page experience

Once you have logged into your AdWords account and gone to “Keywords”, you should pay especially attention to the “landing page experience”.

Anything labelled below average needs to be addressed immediately because this will affect your AdWords Quality Score.

If you have a poor score you will most likely pay more for an Ad or even if a worst-case scenario you may not even be able to serve any Ad at all.


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