Last year, Google announced that it was raising the importance of page speed in its ranking algorithms. It had determined from user research that Page speed was becoming increasingly important to Google search users, so Google took action on these results:
1. In January, 2018, it made page speed a top ranking criterion for desktop searches.
2. In July, 2018, it made the same change for searches done on mobile devices.

You can read the official Google announcement here: Google Page Speed Update.

Webmasters and site owners need to adjust their site’s design to improve the speed or the site will drop in search rank. Google has released two helpful tools that will evaluate your page and make suggestions for improvement:
a. Lighthouse. This works in the Chrome browser to analyze any page you visit. You can either use Lighthouse by itself by installing the Lighthouse plug-in (available here: Lighthouse plug-in for Chrome ), or (if you are very technical) you can use a collection of tools Google calls Dev Tools, which contains Lighthouse and several other tools, which is already included in Chrome.

Google says, “To open the developer console window on Chrome, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl Shift J (on Windows) or Ctrl Option J (on Mac). Alternatively, you can use the Chrome menu in the browser window, select the option “More Tools,” and then select “Developer Tools.”

The message for marketers and webmasters is clear. Your visitors care deeply about page speed. Google cares about page speed. Consequently:
• You need to care about your page speed
• You need to understand your page speed
• You need, most of all, to improve your page speed.

Besides page speed, there are other “best practices” (for example, accessibility) that Google is expecting well-designed websites to implement. Lighthouse will give you suggestions for these best practices, too.

Indeed, we are taking our own advice and investing considerable energy and resources into improving our own page speed and other practices at IM NewsWatch.

b. If your main focus is your speed improvement opportunities, you don’t have to use any desktop software or plug-in. Google has created Google Page Speed Insights.

This Software as a Service (SaaS) tool will analyze your home page (or any other page) in minute detail, looking for improvements to create a faster site.

Just type in the name of the page you want to analyze, and Google will give you a complete report in a few seconds.

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