Speed is now a landing page factor for Google Search and Ads

Addy Osmani
Addy Osmani
Ilya Grigorik
Ilya Grigorik

When real users have a slow experience on mobile, they're much less likely to find what they are looking for or purchase from you in the future. For many sites this equates to a huge missed opportunity, especially when more than half of visits are abandoned if a mobile page takes over 3 seconds to load.

Last week, Google Search and Ads teams announced two new speed initiatives to help improve user-experience on the web. Both efforts recommend that site owners and developers pay attention to user-centric performance metrics and use tools such as Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights, and real-world field data (e.g. see Chrome User Experience Report) to diagnose and improve user experiences.

Speed is now used as a ranking factor for mobile searches

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

If you're a developer working on a site, now is a good time to evaluate your performance using our speed tools. Think about how performance affects the user experience of your pages and consider measuring a variety of real-world user-centric performance metrics.

Are you shipping too much JavaScript? Too many images? Images and JavaScript are the most significant contributors to the page weight that affect page load time based on data from HTTP Archive and the Chrome User Experience Report - our public dataset for key UX metrics as experienced by Chrome users under real-world conditions.

To evaluate performance, check:

  • PageSpeed Insights, an online tool that shows speed field data for your site, alongside suggestions for common optimizations to improve it.
  • Lighthouse, a lab tool providing personalized advice on how to improve your website across performance, accessibility, PWA, SEO, and other best practices.

The Mobile Speed Score for ads landing pages

Advertising and speed go hand in hand, with faster landing pages delivering better ROI. Last week, at Google Marketing Live, the Ads team introduced the new mobile speed score.

The 1-10 mobile speed score (10 being the fastest) is based on real-world user experience data, taking into account many factors including the relationship between page speed and potential conversion rates. This score lets you quickly see which landing pages on mobile are providing a fast experience on mobile and which need some work.

You should also implement Parallel tracking, which will soon (October 30th, 2018) become mandatory for all Ads accounts. This enhancement helps load landing pages more quickly, which can reduce lost visits. Parallel tracking sends customers directly from your ad to your final URL while click measurement happens in the background using the browser's navigator.sendBeacon() method.

To help discuss and prioritize speed in your organization, we've made available tools like the Speed Scorecard, allowing you to compare mobile site-speed to your peers, and the Impact Calculator, a tool for estimating the revenue impact investing in speed could have on your mobile site.

Next steps: measure, optimize, monitor and repeat

Optimized web experiences lead to higher user engagement, conversions, and ROI; performance is a feature and a competitive edge.

Looking for tools and tips on which tools and metrics to use, or how to evaluate and make a business case for performance? Check out our "How to Think about Speed Tools" guide for a hands-on overview.

Speed Tools infographic

Looking for tools and tips on which tools and metrics to use, or how to evaluate and make a business case for performance? Check out our

How to Think about Speed Tools guide for a hands-on overview. Or, if you're looking for a fast-by-default framework for you pages, take a look at AMP.