What do you want to know

We all put painstaking efforts to improve page speed, hoping to benefit from improved rankings.

Google is said to prioritize speed when it comes to ranking search results, giving fast sites an advantage over sites that take longer to load.

So, can the loading time of a page impact its SEO?

If possible, what is the signal strength?

We’ll answer these questions by investigating claims about page speed as a Google ranking factor.

The claim: page speed is a ranking factor

Pages that reach a certain speed threshold are said to enjoy higher rankings in Google’s search results.

Speed ​​is measured by the time it takes for a page to load after a user clicks on a search engine results page (SERP) link – especially now that Core Web Vitals measures loading, l interactivity and visual stability.

Google offers a tool called Page speed information to measure loading time, which further fuels claims that speed is a ranking factor.

These claims also stem from the fact that Google aims to provide pages that provide a superior user experience.

This makes it easy to believe that faster pages have an advantage in search.

It’s nicer to have a page that loads instantly after clicking on it – that was the idea behind AMP.

A SERP full of super-fast links seems like a good enough solution, but it has the potential to exclude more relevant pages that take longer to load.

This is where the argument that page speed is a ranking factor starts to fall apart.

Google says time and time again that relevance is the number one ranking factor.

If quick pages were automatically boosted, they could be served before content that provides a better response to the user’s query.

This would be a disservice to searchers, as it would sacrifice quality for speed.

In short, there are claims for and against page speed as a ranking factor.

The weight of this supposed signal is hotly debated within the SEO industry.

Let’s examine the evidence in the next section and clear up some misunderstandings.

Evidence of page speed as a ranking factor

Speed ​​has been a Google ranking factor since 2010.

An April 2010 announcement confirms Google’s search algorithm would start taking speed into account when ranking search results:

“Like us, our users value speed a lot – that’s why we decided to factor site speed into our search rankings.”

This update applies to desktop search results, and what is considered fast on desktop may load relatively slowly on a mobile device.

Granted, mobile web users were still getting frustratingly slow pages, that is, until almost a decade later.

In July 2018, Google made page speed a ranking factor for mobile search results.

A company announcement States:

“Users want to find answers to their questions quickly, and the data shows that people really care about how quickly their pages load. The research team announced that speed would be a ranking signal for desktop searches. in 2010 and that starting this month (July 2018), page speed will also be a ranking factor for mobile searches.

Google continues to consider page speed when serving search results, although the company confirms that the original signal has been replaced by the page experience signal.

Google’s John Mueller says on Twitter:

“We try to avoid unnecessary duplicates in our code, so I guess [the page experience update] replaces previous speed ranking factors.

To learn more about how Google’s Page Experience Update rates speed, see our chapter on Core Web Vitals.

Page Speed ​​as a Ranking Factor: Our Verdict

Page Speed ​​as a Google Ranking Factor: What You Need to Know

Page speed is a confirmed ranking factor for Google search results.

The speed to respect to benefit from this ranking signal is constantly changing.

Currently, it can be achieved by hitting Google’s minimum thresholds for Core Web Vitals.

It bears repeating that speed doesn’t matter as much as page relevance.

So keep that in mind when deciding where to devote SEO resources.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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