From the beginning, Google would never confirm that Site Speed was a major ranking factor. Yet, industry journals and pundits found the subject to be low hanging fruit in the expo circuits. Truthfully, Google has stated time and time again that only ‘the slowest’ of websites might see some sort of ranking adjustment. What followed was a craze of the uneducated belief that if a site was one tenth of a second slower than Google’s recommendation, it would be penalized into oblivion.
In my nine years experience in the world of SEO, I’ve learned to think broadly about the information search engines release. As many clients come back from expo’s or industry training sessions believing their websites will soon be ‘blacklisted’ from Google because they are too slow and sending a flurry of tickets to Support Teams everywhere, I’ve looked at omni ranking websites to learn what their site speed was. Low and behold, major weather, big box and news websites had site speed scores in the poor or slow range. How could this be? The reason is that Google wants to promote a lightning quick internet and search engine, but they can’t do it without our help. So therefore they have publicly floated the idea and several speed tests, but the truth is, unless your website is incredibly slow, site speed isn’t a huge issue in Google’s eyes.
The proof: Gary Illyes of Google Tweeted “Ranking wise it’s a teeny tiny factor” and “Just for the sake of better ranking it’s silly to prioritize it.” So if you have a SEO or marketing firm selling you on a new website or products to increase your site speed for the sake of better ranking, as it stands today, they’re simply taking your money!
”Ranking wise it's a teeny tiny factor”
Now that I’ve gotten everyone’s feathers in a ruffle, I don’t mean to downplay the importance of site speed as a ranking factor or relative to user experience. Dealer eProcess is continually working to improve the usability of our sites. We work hard to make sure our sites load quickly to the eye and we use high quality images for a well rounded user experience. We have, however, found once we launch a site and a client adds their third parties scripts and GTM’s, site speed does slow a bit. Google itself has stated, “If our products are what is making your site slow, remove them.” Interesting concept﹘Google wants reduced site speed, yet they know their products slow websites down.
Please be aware that every time a third party asks you to add a script or a GTM, it may be slowing your site speed. Be sure to ask that third party if adding that script is necessary for that product to work properly or, if it is only used for data collection. Remember, it is your website, you decide whom you allow to do what to it.
Additionally, Google plans on releasing a ranking algorithm, sometime in 2021, which includes Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay which are speed related and Cumulative Layout Shift, Mobile Friendly, Safe Browsing, and No Intrusive Interstitials. Dealer eProcess is aware of this future update and is conscious of these issues as we continue to develop our platform. Please also note that speed is just a portion of this new algorithm which will be a part of Google’s overall algorithm. We intend to keep you up to date as more information is released.