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Google Makes Changes to Search Ranking Factors, Removing Page Speed

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Google’s decision to retire these ranking systems is part of its ongoing effort to improve user experience on the web. The company constantly evaluates its ranking algorithms to ensure that users receive the most relevant and high-quality content when they search for information online.

Let’s look at the reasons behind the changes to search ranking factors, along with key takeaways and insights for those seeking to understand the impact of these changes on their website’s performance.

The Changes Google Made

Recently, Google updated its Helpful Content guidance to include page experience. However, at the same time, they will be removing the page experience report and the mobile usability report from Google Search Console.

If you’re wondering why the significant change, Google said:

“The page experience update was a concept to describe a set of key page experience aspects for site owners to focus on. In particular, it introduced Core Web Vitals as a new signal that our core ranking systems considered, along with other page experience signals such as HTTPS that they’d already considered. However, it was not a separate ranking system, and it did not combine all these signals into one single ‘page experience’ signal.”

per their Search Central blog post.
Search Ranking Factors

Why Is Google Retiring it’s Legacy Secure Site Systems?

In 2023, Google removed Secure Site Systems from its documented ranking systems page. However, Google’s recent decision to retire Secure Site Systems has raised eyebrows and questions about the search giant’s motives.

The system, which was used to verify websites as secure, had been in place for years but was retired in favor of a new system called HTTPS. Google claims that this new system is more secure and efficient than its predecessor, but many are still curious about why the company decided to make such a significant change.

One theory is that Google may have wanted to simplify its processes by eliminating one of its older systems. This would help streamline their operations and ensure that they could maintain high levels of security across all their platforms. Additionally, some experts suggest that HTTPS may be more effective at protecting users’ information from hackers or other malicious actors.

Whatever the reason behind Google’s decision to retire Secure Site Systems, it is clear that they are committed to keeping their users’ data safe and secure online.

Search Ranking Factors

Why Is Google Retiring the Legacy Page Speed System?

Google has long emphasized the importance of fast-loading websites, and in 2018, it announced that it would start using page speed as a ranking factor for mobile searches. This update, called the “Speed Update,” meant that websites with slower load times could negatively impact their search rankings.

The decision to retire Page Speed came after extensive research by Google showed that traditional speed measurements did not fully capture the user experience on a website.

Core Web Vitals aims to provide more comprehensive metrics that include factors such as interactivity, loading speed, and visual stability. By focusing on these core factors, Google hopes to deliver better user experiences across the web.

Page Speed System was an essential tool for improving website loading speed and enhancing user experience. While it may no longer be a standalone ranking factor, website owners should prioritize optimizing page speed to provide a better user experience and improve website performance and search engine rankings.

Search Ranking Factors

Why Is Google Retiring the Mobile-Friendly Ranking System? 

One reason for retiring the Mobile-Friendly Ranking System is that it did not consider all aspects of a website’s performance on mobile devices. While it focused mainly on whether a site was optimized for mobile use, it didn’t consider other factors such as page load times and overall user experience.

This left many websites feeling frustrated as they tried to optimize their pages for mobile devices but saw no improvement in their rankings.

Optimizing your website for mobile devices is crucial in today’s digital age. By understanding the Mobile-friendly Ranking System and implementing current best practices for mobile-friendliness, you can improve your search rankings, attract more users, and provide a better overall user experience for your audience.

Why Is Google Retiring the Page Experience System? 

One reason for this retirement could be that Google has decided to focus on other, more important metrics for ranking purposes. For example, Core Web Vitals (CWV) have recently taken center stage as they measure loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability – all key components of a good user experience.

This shift in focus may have led Google to retire the Page Experience system as it now considers CWV as a more comprehensive way of measuring page performance.

Search Ranking Factors, Page Speed Insights

Why Page Speed is Still Important to You and Your Website

While it’s true that Google may retire certain ranking systems or algorithms, page speed remains an important factor for website owners and businesses to consider. Page speed refers to the amount of time it takes for a website page to load on a user’s device. It can significantly impact user experience, engagement, and conversions.

Research has shown that users are more likely to abandon a website if it takes too long to load and that faster page speeds can lead to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Additionally, page speed can also impact search engine rankings, as Google has indicated that it considers page speed as a ranking factor in its algorithm.

Other reasons include:

  • Conversion Rate Optimization 
  • Improving Bounce Rate 

Therefore, website owners and businesses should strive to optimize their website’s page speed by minimizing file sizes, optimizing images, using caching and compression, and employing other techniques. By improving page speed, website owners can provide a better user experience, increase engagement and conversions, and potentially improve their search engine rankings.

How to Test the Speed of Your Website

Testing the speed of your website is crucial to understanding how it performs for your visitors. Here are some ways to test your website’s speed:

  1. Google PageSpeed Insights: Google PageSpeed Insights is a free tool that analyzes the content of a web page and generates suggestions to make that page faster. Simply enter your website URL and click “Analyze.” The tool will give you a score of 100 and suggestions for improving your website’s speed.
  2. GTmetrix: GTmetrix is a free website speed test tool that analyzes your website’s speed in-depth. It provides a report on page speed, YSlow score, page load time, and a waterfall breakdown of requests. You can use this tool to get recommendations for improving your website’s performance.
  3. Pingdom: Pingdom is another popular tool to test website speed. It analyzes the load time, page size, and a detailed breakdown of requests. You can also test your website from different locations to see how it performs in different parts of the world.
  4. WebPageTest: WebPageTest is an open-source website speed test tool that allows you to test your website from multiple locations and browsers. It provides a detailed waterfall chart of the page load, a filmstrip view of the loading process, and a video of the website loading in real-time.

By testing your website’s speed regularly, you can identify areas for improvement and take action to optimize your website for faster loading times.

Page Speed

Do These Google Changes Have You Feeling Overwhelmed? We Can Help!

If the frequent changes to Google’s ranking systems overwhelm you, don’t worry – we can help! Our team of experienced SEO practitioners can help you understand the impact of these changes on your website’s performance and guide you through the process of optimizing your site for better rankings.

Whether it’s improving your site’s speed, mobile-friendliness, or security, we have the expertise and tools to help you succeed in today’s ever-changing digital landscape. Contact us today to learn more and take your website to the next level.

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