One SEO professional asked John Mueller during a hangout about page speed.
Their main question was: does page speed even matter for SEO? They said they read in a document back in 2010 from Google’s website that page speed is an important metric when it comes to SEO.
Does this still hold true in 2022 as well?
John answered that page speed definitely still matters in 2022. But, the tricky part about this is that page speed itself as a metric no longer exists.
Instead, Google uses Core Web Vitals, which include different elements about user experience that must be optimized.
And page speed, John explains, is a score from zero to 100 (he isn’t sure whether he is mixing up the tools but he believes that’s the score range)
But Core Web Vitals are something that also take into consideration many types of metrics on the speed of a website.
And Google has Core Web Vitals documented extremely well.
So some amount of speed goes into that too. And Core Web Vitals are definitely a ranking factor.
Google has it for mobile and desktop.
Now, it is based on what users actually see and not a theoretical test of your pages. And, for the most part, Google focuses on the difference between something that is reasonably okay and something that is very slow.
And they have that in the different categories for the individual metrics where they have good, medium, bad…but John forgets what the names are.
Usually when you come out of the bad section into the medium section, that’s where Google would say “Oh, this website is improving and looking better.”
But, what you don’t see is big ranking changes overall for that.
Rather, you would see changes for queries where they have similar content in the search results. So, if someone is searching for your company name, they would not show some random blog just because it’s a little bit faster instead of your homepage.
Even if your homepage is very slow, they would still show your homepage.On the other hand, if someone is searching for “running shoes,” and there are lots of people writing about running shoes, then this is where the speed aspect does play a bit more into it who they show in the SERPs.
The other thing where speed plays into is when it comes to crawling itself, especially for larger websites.
For larger sites, if the web server is very slow, then Google can’t crawl as much.
This happens at approximately the 53:03 mark in the video.