Google: Site Speed Penalty Coming To Mobile Web Sites

Google-page-speed-serviceGoogle’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced at SMX Advanced that Google is likely going to roll out a version of the site speed ranking factor for mobile sites.

Back in 2010, Google said site speed is a ranking factor. Google’s Matt Cutts said expect something similar to come to mobile search soon.

This morning, Google announced demotion factors for mobile sites, but they did not announce site speed as one of those demotion factors. That is because that feature is not yet live but it is coming soon, and Matt wants webmasters and SEOs to prepare.

Matt mentioned a tool at Google I/O to monitor the speed of mobile websites. Outlier sites that load really slowly will see a demotion of the search results. I assume mobile sites have to be even faster than the outlier for the deskop outlier speed number.

For more of our coverage on Matt’s talk at SMX Advanced see Google’s Cutts Talks Structured Data Beta, Mobile Site Speed Need, Penalty Notices To Get Example Links & More.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Vincent Nguyen

    This is another incentive for me to move over to WPEngine. Hostgator has been worrying me lately with its load times and I do not doubt that during their slow times mobile users are seeing absolutely nothing on my site. It’s quite worrying, but maybe this is the push I needed.

  • Andy

    This is great news and has been a long time coming. People forget that sometimes sites on mobiles have to load over pitiful 2G connections (fairly common in rural areas of the UK). You’re lucky to get the equivalent of dial-up speeds on this type of connection, so a site full of images and JavaScript simply isn’t going to work at all.

    One mobile site I loaded recently was almost 1MB in size once it was done. Even over a modest 3G connection that’s going to be reasonably slow. There’s just no need for it. A mobile site should give you the info you need in plain text with none of the fancy eye-candy around it. I’ve always stood by this: “if a site doesn’t load in 10 seconds over 2G, you’re doing it wrong”.

    I for one hugely welcome this change.

  • Alexander Edbom

    Unless it’s a webshop and images are very much needed.. ^^

  • Andy

    I wouldn’t ban images, just make sure they’re appropriately optimised =) This particular site had 800px by 150px wide JPEG banners that were 300KB in size each. There’s no need for that at all.

  • Jonathan Nelson

    1. Go here and enter your URL to analyze:

    2. Toggle the desktop/mobile button on the top right for PageSpeed Insights.

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