Google has confirmed that its latest Speed Update is now “rolling out for all users”, marking the arrival of a new algorithm that will take into account how fast a page loads when determining search engine rankings on mobile.
The update was announced way back in January, when Google said that it was upgrading the page speed signal so that it actually has an impact on SERPs on smartphones. However, it did stress that the change would “only affect a small percentage of queries” and that has not changed in the intervening six months.
It means that only the slowest of sites will be penalised in search results. But, it will still be in the best interests of brands moving forward to make sure that their content and webpages are fast loading as these generally deliver the best experience to end users – which is a general factor for determining search rankings.
Google does not have a specific metric for the speed of webpages, which can make it tricky for webmasters as they attempt to improve their practices. Still, the search giant did recently urge publishers to take a closer look at data in the PageInsights and Lighthouse tools, as well as the Chrome User Experience report to get a better idea.
Google also announced on Tuesday that it was overhauling the Breaking News section on YouTube to ensure that only authoritative sources are served up for views “during fast, moving breaking news events”. To do this, more content will be provided, more highlights will be displayed, and local stories will be pushed.