Next month, Google has a few updates primed for rollout. One of them, the so-called Speed Update, is yet another indication that Google is pushing websites towards a more user-friendly experience in all metrics.
Google’s Newest Speed-Related Update
Google’s newest update to its algorithm will take the upload speed of websites into account whenever someone performs a web search on a mobile device. While the update will result in some changes to the rankings in these searches, it is not expected to be a major disturbance as it only seems to be targeting sites that are especially slow.
The update is set to go into effect sometime in July.
How to Check Your Site’s Upload Speed
If your law firm uses a major web design firm or otherwise outsources its website maintenance, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. However, because online legal marketing is akin to the Wild West and it only takes a couple of seconds to test your site’s upload speed, it can’t hurt to do some quick oversight.
Head on over to Google’s PageSpeed test or the one provided by Pingdom, throw your law firm website’s URL into the search field, and hit the test button. If your website is scoring a 70 or better on mobile devices, there’s little reason to fret over this new update, as it shouldn’t impact you. If it scores lower, though, consider sending an email to your webmaster and asking why it’s so slow or, if you’re running your firm’s website on your own, get ready to spend a night or two troubleshooting it.
Far From the Only Update Dealing with Upload Speed
This upcoming addition to Google’s algorithm is only the latest edition in a long line of speed-related upgrades over the past several years, all of them meant to pursue Google’s main objective—a positive user experience.
Recall that Google aims to give its users the most relevant and important hits for every given search query. Sites that take forever to upload, even if they satisfy those two criteria, can frustrate searchers. Therefore, Google has been incentivizing websites to improve their upload times by threatening to penalize them in the rankings if they don’t perform well enough.
This update is just the most recent iteration of this trend.
A Harbinger of the Future
It also won’t be the last. While this current update only threatens to demote egregiously slow websites in searches done on mobile devices, it’s expected that the next one will demote websites that are just especially slow. The one after that will demote sites that are very slow, and the next will target sites that are kind of slow. Whatever time you take now to improve the upload speed of your law firm webpage is an investment that will benefit you in peace of mind and protected rankings, in the future.