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Google Search Will Start Ranking Faster Mobile Pages Higher In July (venturebeat.com) 73

An anonymous reader writes: Google today announced a new project to improve its mobile search results: Factoring page speed into its search ranking. As the company notes, page speed "has been used in ranking for some time" but that was largely for desktop searches. Starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches on Google as well. In November 2014, Google started labeling sites as "mobile-friendly" to denote pages optimized for phones. The company then spend the next few years experimenting with using the label as a ranking factor, ultimately pushing those changes in April 2015 and increasing the effect in May 2016. The label was removed in August 2016 as the company noted that most pages had become "mobile-friendly." Google now plans to wield that power again to make mobile pages load faster.
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Google Search Will Start Ranking Faster Mobile Pages Higher In July

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @04:17PM (#55948501)

    Just another reason to stick to Bing.

  • I have an idea for a real fast page: "Send money here! ..."
  • Another step (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @04:26PM (#55948575)

    Just another step toward Google's attempt to control behavior on the internet.
    They pretend to be a search engine, but are now filtering the results based on what they think you SHOULD be looking at, rather than the content. When I ask for a search term, I want accurate results about the term, not about how fast a page loaded.

    I miss 2003 Google. How did things go so wrong?

    • That's why I use Bing.

      • DuckDuckGo? Is there some reason that I should not be using DuckDuckGo - some reason that I don't yet know about?
        • As I understand it: Unlike Google Search, DuckDuckGo doesn't track your search history to infer your interests. Therefore, it can't stick you in a filter bubble.

        • They say they don't track you as they make plenty otherwise. As I don't give tinfoilers the time of day I'm happy with that.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The only good bot on Reddit is the one that removes the "m" in wikipedia links.

      My phone is 1080p, and I have it set to "request desktop site" for a reason; I don't want your watered-down / half-assed "mobile" webpage.

    • When I ask for a search term, I want accurate results about the term, not about how fast a page loaded.

      And if there are two pages with accurate results about the term, which do you want ranked higher? The fast one or the slow one?

      Google isn't doing this because they like to make web devs jump through hoops, they're doing it because getting results that are accurate and fast makes users happier. And users who are happier use the service more. And users who use the service more see more ads.

      • Neither, you put them in the data set with equal rank and then in the UI pick a random ordering for each client.
        • Neither, you put them in the data set with equal rank and then in the UI pick a random ordering for each client.

          Neither? Really? You'd honestly prefer to have a 50% chance of having to wait longer to get your information?

          Frankly, I don't believe you.

          What about other characteristics of bad sites? They can be slow, ugly, spammy, malware-laden... there are quite a number of quality factors other than content relevance. Obviously relevance is the most important characteristic (well, except for malware), but once that bar has been met, there are still better and worse sites. Google has long taken into account a wide v

          • Neither? Really? You'd honestly prefer to have a 50% chance of having to wait longer to get your information?

            Load times for web sites are now under a second - over 100ms is considered slow. I honestly couldn't care less if two sites that are otherwise equally ranked end up sending me to the one that loads in 500ms instead of 50ms.

            What about other characteristics of bad sites? They can be slow, ugly, spammy, malware-laden.

            A site that is spammy or malware-laden shouldn't make it into the search index at all. A site that is ugly may still have useful information - and often ugliness correlates quite strongly with utility for technical web pages, so I'd be very unhappy if a search engine decided that I want

            • Neither? Really? You'd honestly prefer to have a 50% chance of having to wait longer to get your information?

              Load times for web sites are now under a second - over 100ms is considered slow. I honestly couldn't care less if two sites that are otherwise equally ranked end up sending me to the one that loads in 500ms instead of 50ms.

              You must not look at very many web sites. There are plenty with load times of multiple seconds, even on a very fast connection.

              What about other characteristics of bad sites? They can be slow, ugly, spammy, malware-laden.

              A site that is spammy or malware-laden shouldn't make it into the search index at all. A site that is ugly may still have useful information - and often ugliness correlates quite strongly with utility for technical web pages, so I'd be very unhappy if a search engine decided that I wanted to look at pretty and information-light sites instead.

              Information-light sites would score lower on content, so the ugliness factor wouldn't even come into play.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Re 'How did things go so wrong?"
      The party politics of the brand likes to derank results.
      At first it was a good search engine to get users in. Now its not facing emerging competition the SJW can shape search results to their politics.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Who cares if your page loads faster in mobile browsers? Does it have the thing I'm looking for or not?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Does it have the thing I'm looking for or not?

      No good asking Google that - they are only interested in the money.

  • by mea2214 ( 935585 ) on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @04:37PM (#55948663)
    I prefer a page that loads slowly but answers my question to a page that loads fast and by gaming the system using SEO, doesn't have an answer to anything.
  • As a contract developer, I do very little internet stuff with my phone, But I know I am a real exception in today's world.

    In today's world all base rendering of things web should be done with the primary platform being phones and then other platforms as needed.

    With the exception being, special case projects.

    Just my 2 cents ;)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      In today's world all base rendering of things web should be done with the primary platform being phones and then other platforms as needed.

      Not sure what one has to do with the other. Yeah, mobile rendering should not take a back seat to desktop for the same site. But this change prioritizes competing sites based on mobile,speed, essentially assuming that the content that renders the fastest on mobile is "more desirable" by all possible definitions.

      That is never my definition of "more desireable".

      I'm sure this is just one more facet to Google's unknowable ranking formula, but among the negative outcomes consider they ways that this can be gamed

  • Of course (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @04:41PM (#55948687)

    I’m sure web pages which are slowed down because they include lots of Google ad content will not be penalized...

  • Ugh! Pages are too slow! Just get me the content! Pages that do this should be penalized!
    Google Search Will Start Ranking Faster Mobile pages Higher
    Ugh! Google is so evil! Just tell me which page it is! Don't restrict what pages can do!
  • Most phones are big enough that people just press 'show me the desktop site' before the mobile page has loaded.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @05:20PM (#55948957)

    So is the timing in time before the user first gets too read initial content and interact? Or is it only after every image on the page has finally populated...

    Even though this move is obviously meant to drive all the sheep into the AMP corral, I still don't think it's a bad idea because then maybe even non-amp sites will make some serious effort at reducing load times.

    I do wonder though if this will amplify the placement much of those annoying sites that repeat some tiny bit of content from something like StackOverflow and don't have anything else goin goin besides ads... they often load quickly as they are very simple, but they are also worthless.

    • by lkcl ( 517947 )

      So is the timing in time before the user first gets too read initial content and interact?

      it's complicated. luckily you don't actually have to put every single optimisation in, manually: there's something called mod_pagespeed which can take care of things automatically. so instead of doing the incredibly wasteful (and never accurate) thing in wordpress of storing five separate and distinct copies of the exact same image (1280x800, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480, .....) you enable the "image optimisation" plugin, it works out through a series of handshakes with the *user's browser* what the best im

      • Thanks for the information, I've not been doing any server side stuff for a while but I will keep mod_pagespeed in mind... I don't care who wrote it if it works well. :-)

  • They are too busy telling you what they believe you should want rather than giving you specifically what you asked for. The total results for each search and relevancy has been significantly scaled back to their preference. The search result quality is about as bad as infoseek when they started to be overtaken by Google. They did the same thing and lost their market share to Google. I would say it is an Ideal time for a competitor.

    For total web search I have been forced to use Bing more and more but for

  • This will benefit their AMP bullshit more than anything else.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Google's Pagespeed analysis gave the site a "yellow" 79% result and tells me to "leverage browser caching" and avoid render blocking CSS and Javascript above the fold. The site practically renders instantly. It's completely static except for a little client side scripting, doesn't load third party resources and an entire page load is less than 60kB (that includes pictures, CSS, scripts, everything). Yellow. 79%. Let's just say I don't trust Google with deciding what site is fast and what site is slow.

    • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @07:51PM (#55949965)

      That's because the finished loading your entire 60kb page before it responded to the first paint command, maybe 100ms. A modern page loads a single pixel and a script that loads the rest of the page. Sure, it takes like 3 times as long to get the page, requires people to load 3rd party javascript (or any JS), lets Google track you (although that's part of the plus for them.)

      It's also, obviously, letting them pimp AMP and punishing the people who decline to use it.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Well, it pisses me off. Google's own homepage, the one that's empty except for the logo, text input and two buttons in the middle and a couple of small things on the edges, has got to be one of the most optimized pages on the planet. But that accesses 5 different servers and loads 9 times as much data as my page, takes longer until DOMContentLoaded and almost three times as long until the page has finished loading completely (for an almost empty page with a text input field!). And still my site gets a yello

  • If I click page two and click back to page one.
    THE RESULTS MOVE BETWEEN PAGES!!!!
    It's a major annoyance at this point.

  • page speed "has been used in ranking for some time"

    Yeah, because the speed of a page is much more important to me than its relevance to what I'm searching for or the quality of its content. No wonder it's getting harder and harder to get decent, relevant search results. But, I guess nothing succeeds like pandering to the lowest common denominator...

    Wouldn't it be cool if somebody came out with an unbiased search engine that caters to those with analytical capability and the will to use it? I'd be happy to pay a subscription fee for such a thing. And I'll be

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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