Is Google about to start shaming slow-loading websites?

Development, Digital

If you are still planning on page speed not being a main focus for 2020, then it might be time to rethink your strategy.

Written By

Thomas Coughlan

Posted On

04 Dec 2019

As part of Google’s ongoing push for a faster web, Chrome may introduce a badge to websites when they are loading to tell users if they usually load fast or slow. This would be the latest step in Google shaming websites to improve better user experience, following to introduction last year of marking HTTP websites as unsecure.  Google is currently experimenting with a number of different options of where and how the badge will appear. A caution could appear telling users on slow-loading websites that it ‘usually loads slow’ as they are waiting for the page to load. On the flip side, if you have a consistently fast loading website, there will be a green progress bar instead of the standard blue. Google is even looking at ‘enabling insight into typical site speeds so you’re aware before you even navigate’.

Google slow-loading websites

Why is Page Speed important?

As we have discussed in previous blogs, Page Speed is key to the success of your website. Previous research from Google has found that a mobile landing page still takes around 15 seconds to fully load and 53% of mobile visits leave a page that takes longer than 3 seconds. It’s still important to have a great user journey so that users can easily navigate your site and find what they want. However, this is useless if they leave your site before they see anything.

mobile page speed benchmarks

How can I improve my Page Speed?

There are a number of ways to improve the speed of slow-loading websites so that you can avoid being ‘shamed’ by Google. The best place to start is to run your site through Google’s PageSpeed Insights which will give you a score out of 100. Along with your score, Google will also offer recommendations to improve your page speed. We have also given some tips on how to improve your page speed in our Technical SEO blog.

When is the Chrome update taking place?

Google has only recently announced their plans for Chrome and it sounds like they are still in the early stages. Although there is no set date, it should still be a wake-up call that page speed is important and it’s better to fix it now as it can still improve your rankings

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