July 2018: Google's 'Speed Update' Goes Live
In a January blog post, Google announced that starting July 2018 they will officially make page speed a ranking factor within their mobile search results. This 'Speed Update' is said to affect only the 'worst pages' and won't be 'highly noticeable'.
The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. 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.
Speed is a huge factor when it comes to user experience and it being rolled into the algorithm should come as absolutely no surprise. As of the time of this article, we don't know what the "speed limit" is going to be. However, Google consistently mentions "10 Seconds" as a standard for a fully loaded page in their documentation.
Remember that 2017 study Google released that said...
53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load.
That's not a stat to be ignored and you can use Google's Test My Site tool to get a percentage of visitors you're losing because your site is slow to load on mobile. It's tested against a 3G connection to replicate what most people are using to navigate the mobile web.
Be sure to read our new speed optimization guide: