Google has made it clear that site speed (and thus page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. Google representatives have even made announcements declaring that the company is “obsessed with speed.”
Why are site and page speed so important to Google?
As we know, users are at the root of most Google algorithm ranking factors. Representatives explain the importance of site speed to users stating,
Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.
-Amit Singhal, Google Fellow and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer, Google Search Quality Team
To further highlight the importance of speed, Google has recently released a Mobile Scorecard and an Impact Calculator. One of these tools compares how a site performs against the competition on mobile devices, and the other aims to communicate the impact mobile speed can have on profits. Both tools aim to drive home the importance of investing in speed.
The mobile scorecard can be used to find out how your website stacks up to competitor sites in terms of speed. In general, if your site loads and becomes usable in five seconds or less on 3G connected devices, and in 3 seconds or less on 4G connected devices then your site is doing well in terms of speed.
You can test your site on 3G and 4G connected devices by changing settings in the upper right-hand corner of the tool (see image below).
The impact calculator quantifies the potential effect that speed has on conversion rates by calculating the revenue companies could potentially gain by improving site speed. Unfortunately, due to the complicated nature of payments in the legal industry, this tool will likely not be applicable to attorneys. But, it is important to be aware of the existence of the tool, as it shows Google’s commitment to driving home the importance of site speed.
Both tools can be accessed here.