Get Faster! Take Advantage of Google's Latest Changes to Boost Your Search Rankings

Marketing Get Faster! Take Advantage of Google's Latest Changes to Boost Your Search Rankings Ryan Chin / Aug 30, 2021

Google's latest major algorithm change was released in July and it offers you an opportunity if you haven't taken advantage yet.

The latest update gave a boost to websites that have fast page load speeds, a critical factor in delivering good customer experiences.

Improving your page load speed is a great way to move up your search rankings.

Let's look at how you can make those pages load quicker!

How You Doin'?

Have you checked your page load speed lately? 

Google offers its PageSpeed Insights tool so you can see exactly how your performance is.  The tool even provides suggestions on things you can do to improve your performance.

PageSpeed Insights tells you how can improve your speed

In addition, you should start using Google's Search Console, if you aren't already.

The Core Web Vitals section tells you how many of your pages have good URLs, and how many need improvement.
Core Web Vitals tells you exactly how many pages need work

In addition, it will list the issues which need to be resolved in order to create a good experience.  If you click on the issue type, it will tell you which pages have the issue.

In Core Web Vitals, you can see the issue types

Rightsize Those Images

Reducing image sizes are a great way to speed up your page load speed.

There are two ways to reduce the size of your images which people often overlook.

Most of the time when we upload images to our websites, we don't check the dimensions.  That means that we usually upload images that could have smaller dimensions.  The larger the physical size, the bigger the image file.

The other way to reduce the file size of images are to use formats that are smaller.  Most images are JPEG or PNG format.  However, there are newer formats, such as WEBP, where the quality is similar, but the file size is much smaller.

Since WEBP is a younger (created by Google around ten years ago) format, it's still gaining adoption.  As of now, WEBP works in about 94% of browsers.  For the 6% where it doesn't work (mostly older browsers), the page will still load, but visitors won't see the image.

Most photo editing software allow you to both resize images and save them in WEBP format.  If your software doesn't support WEBP images, try Pixlr, it's free to use and doesn't require you to install anything.

Compress Javascript and CSS

Most web pages have Javascript and CSS files.

They do great things. 

CSS makes your pages beautiful.  Javascript makes your pages more interactive and easier to use.

Compress your JSS and CSS to improve your page load speed

However, the number of files and the size of those files could increase your page load speed.

To fix this, you can minify your files.  Minifying them essentially means making them smaller by eliminating the amount of space and formatting that make it easier for developers to read the code in them.

Fortunately, there are many free online tools to use, such as Minify.

If you happen to be using Wordpress, there's also plenty of free plugins that do this for you, such as W3 Total Cache, WP Fastest Cache, or Hummingbird Page Speed Optimization.

There are also Wordpress plugins that can defer the loading of Javascript, such as Async JavaScript, which try to defer loading Javascript until it's needed.


Aside from downloading files, computers and phones talk to your servers when someone visits your website.

This communication takes time. 

In addition, it takes time for the server to process the request, especially when it needs to talk to a database to show the info.

Caching avoids some of this by saving the web page, or parts of the page to other places and having the computers and phones load from there instead of your server.

On top of caching, you can also utilize content delivery networks (CDNs).  CDNs save some of your files and serve them to computers and phones. The big advantage is that these networks have servers that are geographically spread out. 

CDNs save a copy of your files and usually serve them to people faster than your server

This usually makes them closer to your site visitor which allows them to load quicker.

Cloudflare is a popular CDN that does caching of your files, minification, among other things to improve your page load speed.

If you're using Wordpress, there are plugins for caching, many of which incorporate your CDN.  Some of them include W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, Comet Cache and WP Rocket.  Also, many hosts offer CDN and caching with their plans.

Get Amped

AMP web pages are a format that is geared towards performance.

There are a couple of things that give AMP pages speedy.

AMP pages are a way to boost your page load speed

First, AMP pages are restricted in what you can include on them.  CSS files must be under a certain size, and only limited Javascript is allowed.  The other drawback is that they need to be coded in a certain way.

The tradeoff is how fast the pages load.

The other advantage is that Google caches the AMP pages for you.  Whenever someone does a Google search from a mobile device, and you have an AMP page, it'll be served from the search engine's cache.

Even if you don't see an improvement in your Google search ranks, decreasing your page load speed is great for your visitors.  Improving your customer experience is always the right move. 

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