Changes in the Google PageSpeed Insights algorithm
12.03.2019 Angelika Siczek
Do changes in Google algorithms always make our lives more difficult? If you constantly think about the positioning of your website, you surely have asked yourself this question multiple times. Each Google algorithms update carries a number of changes to which you need to adjust. At the end of July 2018 Google launched an update to the Pagespeed algorithm and marked it as an important ranking factor in mobile search engines, another change took place in November 2018, based on the rating on the Lighthouse engine. It resulted in a notable decrease in the organic search results of many e-commerce sites. See why this happened and what to do to prevent this from happening at home. The updated Pagespeed algorithm “rewards” high-speed, mobile-optimized websites. This means that thanks to the fact that the website operates faster, e.g. on a smartphone, it is positioned higher in the search engine ranking. Until now, website speed was treated only as a recommendation, but after the July update, it became a full-fledged factor determining the site’s place in the ranking of mobile search engines.
Looking from the perspective of mobile device users, the update of the Pagespeed algorithm is a good change. It’s easier to look through the offer or shop faster. However, it is a huge challenge on the part of the e-commerce industry. Most online stores are not prepared for the mobile revolution that Google promotes.
The mobile-first idea is based on beginning the design of the site immediately for mobile devices, instead of starting from the desktop version (from mobile to desktop, and not vice versa). According to the research carried out, with respect to stores designed using the mobile-first method, the average performance result is only 35.66/100. And for the same group of 11,000 online stores around the world, the availability rate is only 58.34 / 100.
Can we talk about a good change?
Online stores have been hurt because of the PageSpeed algorithm update because they were technically not adapted to using them via mobile devices. This was reflected in the weak SEO results achieved by many e-commerce websites. The companies observed significant drops in organic results from 1 to 3 pages, and also lower due to the update of Google Medic. CPC costs were increased (cost per click). The main reason for this is the weaker results in Google PageSpeed for mobile devices. By changing the Google Pagespeed algorithm for mobile devices, we notice that many stores based on the Magento 2 platform and using the default settings achieve a very low score in Google Pages on mobile devices. Similar results are also received by stores using Magento 1, Shopware, WooCommerce and other e-commerce platforms. Therefore, if you do not want to lose your position, high traffic and revenues, you need to constantly improve the page loading time and different important functions for all mobile devices. And of course, the sooner you do it, the more you will benefit.
Adjust to the mobile-first revolution
Companies and agencies that support e-commerce platforms are administering a series of tests to find a solution to the problem. It may turn out that they will soon find a solution. However, it is important that people involved in online commerce go along with the times, working on mobile solutions and adapting to Mobile First’s ongoing revolution.
When analyzing the performance of your website, you need to look at it from two perspectives:
1. Googlebot-oriented performance – Verify if the server is able to handle Googlebot’s intensive indexing. Remember that if the robot notices that your site is running slowly, it will stop indexing it in the search engine.
2. User-oriented performance – focus on improving the page loading speed on the user’s mobile device so that it runs smoothly and the recipient does not have any issues with fulfilling the activities. Both of these perspectives may affect your SEO activities. So make sure that your server responds quickly and the user does not suffer from avoidable delays on the website. What steps to take to avoid falling behind the revolution? The answer lies in solutions designed in accordance with the mobile-first approach. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are the most important aspect of this development. This technology is fully adapted to Google’s mobile-first indexing. Accelerates the loading of the site and improves its search results. It also allows selection of a number of functions tailored to mobile devices, such as the home screen, offline or push notification icons. All this increases the engagement of mobile users and increases the efficiency of your business. PWA is compatible with Google Page Speed indexing. Consequently, stores that implement this technology will maintain high search results at no extra cost for a CPC campaign. Investment in Progressive Web Apps will positively influence organic traffic and will contribute to increased conversions on mobile devices. It will also increase your income in online trading.