Some SEO companies and businesses may be seeing fluctuations in their website rankings since the 18th December 2017 – this is due to Google making alterations to the ranking algorithms to take into account mobile and tablet traffic primarily.
For the past few years google have adopted a different set of rankings when browsing on a mobile device as to those seen when browsing on a desktop device but, as of mid-December 2017 Google have since adopted a ‘mobile first’ update which now shows the same and/or very similar rankings for mobile and desktop platforms according to research conducted here at Just Link Building.
Page speeds, mobile friendliness and layout are some of the most important factors which are now helping websites rank higher.
SEO in 2018; We’ve got the need for speed!
Perhaps one of the most important changes recently made to the ranking algorithm is the need for speed. Mobile page insights can gleam some light on the apparent changes required by a website to assist its mobile friendliness, however these alterations are somewhat basic when it comes to optimising large websites and in particular ecommerce websites.
How to level out ranking fluctuations…
Site speed, localisation and backlinks are all prominent factors in this latest ‘mobile first’ update from Google but, ensuring that your site is mobile friendly is now imperative to long term rankings moving forwards into 2018 and beyond. Some of the main areas which SEO consultants should turn their attention to include; Layout, Image Sizes, Content Delivery Networks and Script Loading Time/ positioning; as making necessary changes to these on page elements above can have dramatic impacts on the current ranking positions of a website.
More information on the latest update at Google can be found in their recent email to webmasters (taken from Webmaster Central Blog.)
Official news on crawling and indexing sites for the Google index
Real-world data in PageSpeed Insights email – Wednesday, January 10, 2018
PageSpeed Insights provides information about how well a page adheres to a set of best practices. In the past, these recommendations were presented without the context of how fast the page performed in the real world, which made it hard to understand when it was appropriate to apply these optimizations. Today, we’re announcing that
PageSpeed Insights will use data from the Chrome User Experience Report to make better recommendations for developers and the optimization score has been tuned to be more aligned with the real-world data.
The PSI report now has several different elements:
• The Speed score categorizes a page as being Fast, Average, or Slow. This is determined by looking at the median value of two metrics: First Contentful Paint (FCP) and DOM Content Loaded (DCL). If both metrics are in the top one-third of their category, the page is considered fast.
• The Optimization score categorizes a page as being Good, Medium, or Low by estimating its performance headroom. The calculation assumes that a developer wants to keep the same appearance and functionality of the page.
• The Page Load Distributions section presents how this page’s FCP and DCL events are distributed in the data set. These events are categorized as Fast (top third), Average (middle third), and Slow (bottom third) by comparing to all events in the Chrome User Experience Report.
• The Page Stats section describes the round trips required to load the page’s render-blocking resources, the total bytes used by the page, and how it compares to the median number of round trips and bytes used in the dataset. It can indicate if the page might be faster if the developer modifies the appearance and functionality of the page.
• Optimization Suggestions is a list of best practices that could be applied to this page. If the page is fast, these suggestions are hidden by default, as the page is already in the top third of all pages in the data set.
For more details on these changes, see About PageSpeed Insights. As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please visit our forums and please remember to include the URL that is being evaluated.