We’ve written a couple of times already about how important website performance is. To recap: People. Hate. Slow. If your site doesn’t load quickly, your nearest competitor’s site probably will. That’s a lost opportunity and worse, a lost customer.
Image by Stephen Depolo
The second reason has to do with search results. Google has two search ranking algorithms that calculate results differently for mobile searches and ‘desktop’ searches. If your site is not mobile friendly, Google will penalize you for it. You may have seen that small ‘mobile friendly’ tag beside certain sites. Make sure that your site has this.
Google Slow Tag
Earlier this year, there were rumours that the big G was planning further changes to how its search results are displayed. The possible addition of a red slow tag naming and shaming sites that are heavy and slow to load would certainly put the cat among the SEO pigeons.
Screen capture via K Neeraj Kayastha
Another version of the Google slow to load tag was seen this Summer, this time showing a “Slow to Load” message with a yellow warning sign.
Image: Parmar Divyesh via Twitter
Now here’s the kicker. As people on mobile devices avoid results labeled in this way, slow sites could effectively disappear from the rankings if such a speed ‘health warning’ was attached to them. Part of Google’s vision to make the internet better…or dastardly plan to consign larger sites to the margins of the web?
Budgeting for performance
Many web development agencies and professionals are already budgeting for performance at the early stages of a website project. In many cases, this means optimizing image content according to the particular screen you are addressing. By knowing what device you are sending website content to, you can skinny down your content payload to suit.
If you look at the top 10 sites from around the world as ranked by Alexa, they all use device detection techniques to optimize for each device they serve.
goMobi site owners don’t need to worry about this, as the capability comes built-in thanks to device detection from our sister product DeviceAtlas.
For site owners that’s great as they don’t need to worry about being compliant with Google’s rules.
For goMobi reseller partners, it means they can be confident they are offering the very best solution to their customers to publish great websites quickly and easily.