I read an excellent post recently by Chris Liversidge from QueryClick on the mobile seo time bomb.
Whilst I think Chris is being over dramatic to highlight his key ethos (site speed load time will be increasingly important to where you rank on Google) he does raise some good points.
As a result of my own knowledge + cross checking with other sources = I’m now going to steal Chris’ ideas and repurpose below:
Over the past year Google has been lecturing all on the importance of super quick page load speeds; even uttering the 1 second page load speed target as THE goal (note: This is for above the fold render times; not the whole shebang).
Aug 2013 – Google Webmaster tools blog post
June 2013 – Matt Cutts talked about penalisation of ‘slow loading’ (aka plus one second) mobile experiences at SMX and where this change was “coming soon”
October 2013 – Matt Cutts reiterated the importance, penalty and for mobile site owners to “get ready” at Pubcon
Feb 2012 – (Background) The general importance of page load speed
What will happen?
The usual carrot and stick approach.
Google will reward sites for achieving the goal and progressively penalise (with stronger penalties) the further away sites perform against the goal when compared to competitor sites within their niche.
When’s it coming?
No exact date is known however bet this is being tested ready for a gradual (think how Panda and Penguin ‘gradually’ gets rolled out) roll out in 2014.
Advice on how to achieve sub 1 second above the fold rendering
See the EConsultancy post
Whilst page speed is only 1 element within Google’s Search algorithm it will become an increasingly important one for Mobile Search and to gain competitor advantage you should optimise now (whether that be a responsive site or a dedicated mobile site) in readiness for a 2014 gradual roll out.