Google PageSpeed is a performance optimization tool that analyzes the content of a web page and provides suggestions on improving the load speed and user experience.
Google introduced Google PageSpeed in 2010 and announced it would start considering website speed as a ranking factor. Although Google has yet to publicly disclose the specifics of when or the exact algorithm used to determine the effects of website speed, we are seeing slower websites have fewer website impressions in Google Search Console.
In 2018, Google announced that mobile page speed would be a ranking factor in its search algorithm. Google’s goal is to provide a better user experience for mobile users. Therefore, websites with fast-loading mobile pages will be ranked higher in search results compared to slower-loading sites, and slower-loading sites may see a decrease in rankings.
Core Web Vitals
By the Summer of 2021, Google began rolling out a broad core update to Google PageSpeed that prioritized faster pages to users. This update created new metrics called the Core Web Vitals.
In September 2022, Google released a broad core algorithm update. There is no confirmation or report on how this update impacted the search results (SERPs.)
Over the past several months, we’ve seen sites with poor (0-49) Core Web Vitals drop in total impressions in Google Search Console. Total impressions are the number of times a website’s pages are displayed in the search results. After optimizing the sites to good performance (90-100), the total impressions return to normal or increase higher than before.
Google Drops Old Google PageSpeed Algorithms
In October 2022, Google’s John Mueller confirmed that it dropped its old page speed algorithms from 2010 to 2018. Mueller confirmed that Google only uses the Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor regarding page speed.
Is this why we see a sudden drop in ranking and overall total impressions on websites? We can’t be 100% certain. We know that Google kept its promise, and faster websites mean higher ranking.
How does your website perform?
How does your website perform? See for yourself at GooglePage Insights. If you need help assessing and updating your site for better speed performance, please contact us; we’d be happy to start a discussion with you.