Major Google Speed Update | Piranha Digital Blog

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Google: Ready, Set, Load!

By piranha

3rd August 2018

Google has rolled out an important new speed update. First announced back in January 2018, this update will penalise very slow websites in search engine results pages (SERPs).

If your website is slow, it may now appear lower in Google’s rankings than it did before.

But fear not!

If you’re worried about the speed of your website, Piranha can help! Call 01772 888331 today.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at why speed is a ranking factor and which kind of sites are likely to be affected by Google’s latest major algorithm update!

Why is Speed Important?

In recent years, the number of web searches on mobile devices has outstripped those on desktops and tablets.

Nowadays, speed is everything! Nobody wants to sit around waiting for a video or web page to load. Research suggests that the majority of mobile users will leave a web page if it fails to load within a few seconds.

Impatience is a Virtue

Users now expect web pages to load swiftly and smoothly. Slow pages often have high bounce rates (the proportion of visitors who leave the page very quickly).

With its new update, Google has now started to use mobile speed as an official major ranking factor, highlighting its importance for webmasters.

What Affects the Speed of a Web Page?

There are many different technical factors which dictate how long a page takes to load.

Here are a few examples of what to avoid:

  • Non-optimised images – image files always take a long time to load. If your images are too large, or of too high a quality, they will take even longer!
  • Render-blocking JavaScript – JS is a programming language widely used by web developers to create dynamic and engaging websites. If not set up correctly, these files can be very labour-intensive for hardware to load.
  • Poor-quality hosting – every website on the internet must be hosted somewhere. The quality and reliability of your hosting service has a huge bearing on the speed at which information can be delivered to your visitors’ devices.
  • No caching – a cache is basically a copy of your website which can be pre-rendered for faster loading times. Cached websites can ‘skip’ many of the server requests and rendering time required for newly-received data. WordPress and Magento website can both be set up with caching plugins to greatly reduce load times.
  • Bad requests – when a user clicks on a web page, it will load after communicating with a server. These communications are based on requests for information; if you make a ‘bad’ request, you waste time receiving an error rather than data.
  • Too many requests – similarly, if your web page makes tons of requests to the server, it will take longer to get through them all.

Piranha’s experienced web developers will avoid all these issues and more, ensuring your site loads swiftly and doesn’t keep your customers waiting! Learn more.

More information on technical bits and bobs is available on Google’s web development website.

Is my Website Slow?

Different types of websites have different average load times. For instance, image gallery websites will always take longer than wiki pages based on simple HTML.

As a general rule, you should make sure your website is as fast as possible. If your website is already fairly fast, even incremental improvements can have a huge cumulative effect on load times.

To check your website’s speed, you can use browser extensions like Chrome’s free Page Load Time or more in-depth web services like Pingdom.

Your website should be fast enough to serve your customers’ needs. Achieving this will help to keep its bounce rate as low as possible; another important ranking factor!

Web Development by Piranha

Our experienced web developers have built over a thousand websites. Since 2001, we’ve been building fast and reliable sites that visitors love to use.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can improve your website’s speed (or anything else!), don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Call the experts on 01772 888331 or email us at becreative@piranha-solutions.com to get started.

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