Some data has been shared by Google that centers around the aftermath of launching its Google Speed Update officially in July 2018. Once Google Gave site owners notice of the update back in January of 2018, Google witnessed the slowest one-third of traffic had performance metrics improve by 15% to 20% in 2018. In 2017, there was no improvements.
January 2018 saw the announcement of the Google Speed Update as a way to reduce the rankings of very slow mobile pages in the search results. Webmasters, SEOs, developers and site owners had a number of months to react and improve their web site performance before the algorithm update rolled out in July 2018.
It seems that there were many sites that took this update seriously and worked to improve web site speed on both mobile and desktop. Google has provided the tools and reports to measure their site speed, get suggestions on improvements and implement those suggests.
The following results were shared by Google around speed improvements it saw a year later:
- For the slowest one-third of traffic, we saw user-centric performance metrics improve by 15% to 20% in 2018. As a comparison, no improvement was seen in 2017.
- We observed improvements across the whole web ecosystem. On a per country basis, more than 95% of countries had improved speeds.
- When a page is slow to load, users are more likely to abandon the navigation. Thanks to these speed improvements, we’ve observed a 20% reduction in abandonment rate for navigations initiated from Search, a metric that site owners can now also measure via the Network Error Logging API available in Chrome.
- In 2018, developers ran over a billion PageSpeed Insights audits to identify performance optimization opportunities for over 200 million unique urls.
Barry Schwartz asked one of the main Google players around speed, Ilya Grigorik if he can now retire. Ilya Grigorik is a Web performance engineer at Google and is passionate about speed and performance improvements to the web ecosystem. He said while there have been big improvements, “there is still the other 2/3rds that need a lot more attention.”
Here is his response:
alas, there is still the other 2/3rds that need a lot more attention.. that said, this was a huge milestone and win for the web in 2018 and I’m excited about all the great work ahead of us — stay tuned.
— Ilya Grigorik (@igrigorik) April 4, 2019