Page Speed as a Ranking Factor in SEO
All SEOs go to great lengths to speed up their websites in the hopes of earning a boost in their search rankings. When it comes to ranking search results, Google is said to favour website speed in SEO, giving fast sites an edge over slower ones. Many SEOs today wonder if loading time affects website SEO, and if it can, how significant is it?
SEOs Claim Page Speed Is a Ranking Factor
Google is said to boost rankings for pages that meet a certain threshold for speed. As a result, many SEOs try to improve their pages’ speed to get a higher position in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The loading speed refers to how long it takes for a website to load after a person clicks on the link in Google’s search results.
Many SEOs believe that a page’s loading speed is significant, especially since Core Web Vitals evaluate interactivity, visual stability, and website loading speed in SEO.
The fact that Google offers a tool called PageSpeed Insights to assess a page’s loading time contributes to the belief that speed is a ranking factor. These beliefs are also fuelled by the information that Google favours pages offering a great user experience. As a result, it is easier to believe that faster websites have an edge in the search results.
It’s true that users would prefer to see a page load immediately after clicking on it. This is also the whole goal behind AMP. A search result filled with fast links may seem like an appealing option, but it also means that the search engine will eliminate pages that take longer to load. That’s when people start arguing that page speed might not be a ranking factor after all.
According to Google, the most important ranking factor is relevance. If the search engine favours fast pages more than relevant content, the former would appear first than content that could provide better answers to a user’s question. This would be a missed opportunity for searchers since it compromises quality in favour of speed. As a result, some claims say page speed is not a ranking signal.
Proof that Page Speed Is a Ranking Factor
In April 2010, Google’s search algorithm started taking website speed in SEO into account. Google’s statement confirmed that the company’s search algorithm considers a page’s loading speed when ranking websites. They also said that page speed is also important for users; therefore, the search engine company decided to consider speed in their search rankings.
Google’s update was taken into consideration in the desktop search results, but what was thought as fast on computers may be excruciatingly slow on mobile devices. So even after the update, mobile searchers still experienced ill-performing pages – that is, until almost 10 years later. Google began incorporating page speed as a ranking signal for mobile search results in July 2018.
The search engine company stated that users simply want to get answers to their enquiries and are very concerned with how quickly web pages load. That is why they decided to use page speed as a ranking factor in both desktop and mobile versions.
Google continues to use page speed when ranking websites in SEO and showing them in the search results, even though they have confirmed that the page experience signal overwrote the previous ranking factors.
Google’s John Mueller tweeted that they try to avoid unnecessary duplication in their code, so he guesses that the page experience update replaced the previous speed ranking factor.
Page Speed is A Ranking Factor
It is confirmed that page speed is a ranking factor for Google’s search results. The search engine uses a number of variables to determine if a site’s pages are mobile-friendly, including page load time and server response time.
The page speed that one should comply with changes frequently. Currently, a website can comply with Google’s minimal threshold for Core Web Vitals. However, SEOs should not focus all their time and efforts on page speed as it is not as significant as content relevance. Nevertheless, page speed is still a significant factor in SEO.
Core Web Vitals Evaluate Speed
Core Web Vitals measures signals from the page to ensure a great user experience. All site owners should measure it because it is significant to SEO. Core Web vitals is the subset of Web Vitals that applies to all web pages and will be shown across all Google tools.
It has three metrics, and each one represents a distinct aspect of the user experience. These metrics can be measured and reflect the real-world experience of a user-centred outcome.
The three metrics are Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift.
The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is all about the time it takes the block of text of the biggest image to load in the viewport. The First Input Delay (FID), on the other hand, measures the time the browser takes to respond when the user clicks or taps the page. Lastly, the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) deals with visual stability, determining whether there is a big change in the content on-screen while the elements load.
Google has confirmed that Core Web Vitals are a ranking factor. Google’s web.dev gives excellent tips on enhancing one’s CLS, FID, and LCP to improve the user experience, eventually boosting site rankings.
Position1SEO Ensures an Excellent User Experience
Position1SEO is a UK-based SEO agency that understands the importance of page speed in getting better search rankings. We also write relevant content to satisfy user queries and your target audience’s interest.
We use ethical, white-hat SEO tactics and a comprehensive approach that considers every detail of your website. Some of our typical areas of work include:
- Website performance
- Website load speed
- Website accessibility
- Accelerated mobile pages
- Positive link building
- Google Search Console
- Google Local set up
- And many more!
Our goal is improved visibility for your site – and we achieve this through cooperation with you and regular communication about our progress. You’ll know exactly what we’re doing to improve your website’s ranking, so you can sleep easy at night knowing that you made the right decision in choosing us as your SEO provider.
For more information about our services, go to position1seo.co.uk.