Google has introduced new warning indicators for slow loading websites through their Chrome browser.
Around the same time, Google also launched a new feature to its Google Search Console product – the site speed report.
The Speed report in Google Search Console is still an experimental feature geared toward one of Google’s most important ranking factors; the speed of loading a website. Google Search Console notes that “The data for the speed report comes from the Chrome User Experience Report. This reflects the actual usage data on your site from users around the world.” Naturally, if you have International Targeting set for your Google Search Console property, you will get data for the countries you targeted.
It is well-known that Google considers loading speed one of the primary factors for deciding how a website should be ranked. Now, it gives administrators a chance to just see just how their, and other websites, are performing speed wise.
We will divide these two updates to get a clearer picture of what they are and how they should help users get better user experience and web administrators to rank higher in Google search results.
Speed (experimental) – Google Search Console
This tool in Google Search Console is available for all properties you have under your Google Search Console account. As the name suggests, the Speed (experimental) tool is still in the experimental phase.
Speed reports are divided into Mobile and Desktop speed reports. You can check the details for both reports by clicking the Open Report option, at the top right corner:
Of course, the detailed info will appear after opening reports. This report follows the pattern of other reports in Google Search Console, such as the Coverage report for instance.
The first view in the report will show you general information about mobile or desktop loading speed of your website. The tabs included here will show your loading speed grades (slow, moderate, fast), the graph axis will show the number of URLs for each of the grades and dates, while the details table will show the list of URLs organized by status and type:
The next step is to click on one of the URLs in the details table that you would like more information about. After you open this report, you will see the description of the issue detected (if any), a graph with URLs affected by the issue, and a table with a list of example URLs experiencing the issue:
To see even more details for the example URLs, click on the URL from the table you want checked. You will also have an option to check the speed of the chosen URL in Google PageSpeed Insights online tool by clicking on the PAGESPEED INSIGHTS arrow once you open example details of an URL.
Warning Indicators for Slow Loading Websites – Chrome Browser
Along with the speed report in Google Search Console, Google launched another speed checking tool through its Chrome browser.
This one is focused on the end-users (visitors), showing them warning indicators if a website they are trying to open loads slowly.
And, not only will the warning indicators show up when opening a slow loading website; there are also loading progress indicators for fast loading websites.
Clearly, the purpose of speed indicators in Chrome is to help visitors choose the fastest, therefore best optimized website when searching for information.
Programmers who worked on this update have explained the purpose of speed indicators in their blog post:
“In the future, Chrome may identify sites that typically load fast or slow for users with clear badging. This may take a number of forms and we plan to experiment with different options, to determine which provides the most value to our users.
Badging is intended to identify when sites are authored in a way that makes them slow generally, looking at historical load latencies. Further along, we may expand this to include identifying when a page is likely to be slow for a user based on their device and network conditions.
Our early explorations will look at a number of Chrome surfaces, including the loading screen (splash screen), loading progress bar and context-menu for links. The latter could enable insight into typical site speeds so you’re aware before you navigate.”
Final Thoughts on the Speed Updates by Google
The two new features introduced into Google Search Console and Chrome products by Google are very straightforward and their purpose is to appeal to website administrators to fix the loading speed of their websites. They are both aimed at exploring the loading speed of the websites and reporting on any issues. The end and main objective is – sinking the slow loading websites into oblivion and ranking the fastest websites higher. Of course, there will always be numerous more ranking factors, we might never discover which all of them are, but this is a powerful indicator from Google of what to take into account and optimize for our websites.