Google announced on 17th January that it will start considering page speed for mobile search. The new update called the Speed Update will start rolling out on July 2018. Google had admitted to pagespeed being one of its ranking factor in 2010 but back then searches were mostly desktop searches. But now mobile searches have raised far and above desktop search.
If you have not yet started optimizing your websites for increased pagespeed don’t worry, we still have more than 4 months for the update to take over. But that doesn’t mean that you should waste time, the earlier you start the better.
As the first step towards optimizing your websites Google recommends the use of PageSpeed report or tools like LightHouse to measure page speed and make improvements.
If your website has Google AMP then this update should not be creating trouble for you, unless your pages are loading slow in spite of the AMP. And for people using a mix of AMP and regular mobile pages, Google will determine the speed based on the page they show in the search results. So in short having AMP will not give you a clean chit, Google is not going to consider the technology you are using, the only thing that matters is the speed of the pages.
Google also says that user intent will be given the top priority, i.e a page that has the most relevant information related to a search query may rank in the results in spite of a slow pagespeed. Now if you are waiting for the update to demote your site and then start working on it, then there are chances that you may not even know that your site has been hit. Google will not alert you when your site, so the only way for you to know is by continuously monitoring your webpage performance and rankings.
Another area where Speed update can bring in changes id your Adwords campaigns. Though Google have not specifically stated it landing page experience is a major factor in determining the quality score. So if the pagespeed of your landing page is low, it may affect your quality score and you may end up paying more that you used to. So if your landing page is slow to load, do not hesitate to correct the issue.
So the easier path would be to audit your website, or even better assign a search engine marketing company to do an audit on your website and understand how it’s pagespeed can be improved. This will help your website to stand strong when the Speed Update rolls out.