What is page speed?
Page speed is a measurement of how long it takes for a web page’s content to load. There are two types of speed that can be referenced; either page speed which measures the time a page takes to fully display content or time to first byte which is the amount of time it takes for a browser to get the first byte of information from a server.
Google’s Page Speed algorithm update & SEO
Beginning in 2010 Google announced that page speed on desktop devices would be a ranking factor of SEO. Fast track to July of 2018 when Google announced that page speed would be a ranking factor for mobile devices (correlating to their mobile first indexing initiative) and that the algorithm would roll out for all users. Jump to two year later, in May of 2020, Google announces that they will be releasing a core algorithm update focused on making page experience (user experience) a ranking factor, that once again incorporates the importance of page speed. Google will announce the roll out of this change six months in advance for webmasters to prepare for, which implies it is going to be a BIG one.
Now more than ever, with page speed being a direct ranking factor that will be part of a larger initiative in 2021, it is CRUCIAL to prioritize and optimize site speed as best as possible.
How does Google determine site speed
Google utilizes Page Speed Insights, Lighthouse, and Chrome User Experience Tools to understand a page’s/website’s speed. These tools generate a relative score for page speed and are available to webmasters to better understand the data collected from their site. They are useful tools to take recommendations on how to improve page speed as reported by Google.
Benefits of improved Site Speed
- Better ranking in the SERPS
- Improved bot crawling experience (influenced by load times)
- Lower bounce rates
- Higher conversion rates
- Better user experience
How to improve site speed
- Enable file compression
- Reduce redirects
- Remove render blocking resources
- Optimize images
- Utilize Huckabuy’s Page Speed software