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Google proposes to reward fast websites via ‘badging’

28th November 2019 | | Blog, Search Engine Optimisation, Web design

We all know fast websites convert more than slow ones. Optimising your site for speed is an ongoing process to ensure visitors don’t jump ship at the first hurdle, or load signal.

What if visitors were shown how well your site ranked for speed before they even entered it?

That’s what Google have suggested will happen in their recent update announced in Moving towards a faster web. In an effort to increase focus on improving user experiences, Google aims to publicly identify sites that load fast or slow with badging. Which they have said could take on numerous forms.

An evolving system

This identification process will be gradual with the criteria becoming increasingly strict as it evolves. Initially, historical load latencies will be the focus. With speed badges possibly depicted via a loading progress bar that will display complete and green for fast sites, partially complete and blue for slow.

An initial interpretation of what Google's badging may look like

An initial interpretation of what Google’s badging may look like

Google suggests that long term they want badging to promote high-quality experiences that consider factors other than speed.

How will this public warning of latency impact user behaviour? What exactly does badging mean for the future of website performance? While Google remains vague and the effects unclear, what we do know for certain is that a speedy site is what everyone should be striving for.

What can you do now?

So, in light of this ambiguous revelation, we’ve provided some quick tips to help you keep your site swift and efficient.

  • Reduce your image sizes – images are vital but their large file sizes aren’t, make sure you crop and compress them before loading them into your site.
  • Prioritize your content – implement lazy loading so important content that appears ‘above the fold’ loads faster than what appears beneath.
  • Delete unnecessary plugins – plugins can do great things for your site but too many simply slow things down. Be firm and only keep those that are essential.
  • Use redirects sparingly – redirects are essential when you move and delete pages. Having lots however, will negatively affect your site speed. Consider how you will use pages long term when adding them to your site to avoid overly restructuring down the line.
  • Monitor your site speed on both desktop and mobile – with all the factors that can impact site speeds, it’s wise to keep an eye on performance over time. Fluctuations may highlight new issues. Pay particular attention to mobile site loads since user experience on mobile devices now impact your entire site rankings.

For more information on how to optimise your site for speed, contact your Dental Design SEO account manager today. Otherwise, stay tuned for further updates on Google’s use of badging.

For more top tips on how to optimise your website, see the other posts on our blog page.

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