The speed of a website is a critical part of the user’s experience when they visit. It doesn’t matter how good the design or the content is if the website loads too slowly. Website speed has grown in importance as consumer expectations for fast load times on mobile devices have increased. The ideal speed for a website depends on a lot of factors. Google recently launched its page speed report for Search Console.
Google teased the new tool for website owners back in February. After more than half a year of testing and refining, the page speed report is now available for all users. Website owners should use this tool to ensure the experience of visiting their site meets with current expectations.
As the company explained in a post announcing the new report, “A fast web experience has long been an important user experience factor that we have promoted and advocated for. To help site owners on this quest, we showed a preview of the Speed report in Search Console at Google I/O 2019. Since then, we’ve been iterating on all the great feedback from the beta testers and, starting today, are excited to begin public rollout!”
It’s important to remember that a website’s speed isn’t judged as a whole. Each page is a separate link that needs to be ranked, so the speed for each page matters individually. The new speed report from Googe uses data from the Chrome User Experience Report and groups URLs based on if the speed is “Fast,” Moderate,” and “Slow.”
These groupings are based on criteria such as load times and having a valid structured data markup. You can learn more about the issues affecting each URL group by clicking. The report connects users to Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. The tool has tips the webmaster can use to optimize their pages to solve the specific issues identified.
Webmasters should use the page speed report to find issues that need to be fixed and to monitor the results. Website owners can dig down into the data to see how much of an effect a particular strategy had.
The introduction of the page speed report follows a talk by a Google representative about the need to continually improve website speed. “[Website speed scores] will never go to a point where you just have a score that you optimize for and be done with it,” said Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Martin Splitt in a #AskGoogleWebmasters event at the end of October.
With the busiest time of the year for online retailers around the corner, now is a good time for website owners to review their site’s speed. You don’t want any speed issue that causes potential customers to go somewhere else. Google says these reports are experimental, so enjoy them while you can. However, the fact that they’re available to everyone suggests that the reports will be around for a while in one form or another.
For more recent news about Google, read this article about the new Site Kit for WordPress sites that Google released last week.