Google Search has continued to evolve in recent years, especially with mobile websites being more popular than desktop sites. And now, the search giant will be rewarding those with faster websites. The company announced that it will begin down-ranking websites that are slow to load up, so that those on the front page of a search results query will be faster loading websites.
This is being referred to as "Speed Update" by Google. The search engine says that these slower websites only comprise of a small percentage of queries, but they will begin being down-ranked in July. Now Google does also mention that this change isn't that drastic, where page speed is the sole factor in determining whether a certain webpage is listed on the first page versus the 10th page of the search results. According to Google, those pages with relevant content, but slow loading pages will still be near the top. Google is advising websites to use the Chrome User Experience Report, Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights to see how fast or slow their website is and what can be done to speed it up.
The change in search results will make users much happier, seeing as they will be sent towards faster websites, rather than slower ones. This is actually an extension from AMP which debuted in 2016. AMP was basically a service that stripped out a lot of the extra things on webpages, to make them load faster, so that those on slower connections can actually load the page to read or research a topic. Now Google is looking to get all websites to improve their speeds by affecting their search results. This change in search results will also likely force many more publishers to move to AMP. Seeing as AMP pages do load a whole lot faster than traditional webpages, even those that are made specifically for mobile users. The main reason for Google doing this, is so that they can get more users using its service. That includes those that are in developing countries and will likely have much slower internet, and waiting for an already slow webpage to load, could take quite some time – not to mention, use up a ton of their bandwidth.