Its been confirmed for a while that site speed was a SEO ranking factor to Google. It makes sense when you consider the fact that Google wants to provide the best possible user experience to their customers. But until now, nobody knew exactly how Google determined site speed. Google has confirmed that it is using data collected from Chrome users rather than relying on their search engine spiders.
If youve used Googles Chrome browser before, then you may have noticed that Google provides the option of enabling permission to provide Google with data to improve the browser and their search service. Its very likely that Google has been collecting data from the users that have given permission. In that regard, the community does not have to worry about the kind of backlash that Facebook has received with their privacy violations.
The Web Rendering Service is Strong Proof
The web rendering service in Google Chrome is used for the search function. Its been found that Googlebot heavily utilizes as it crawls web pages, leading to the previous theory that Googlebot was responsible for site speed analysis. But the idea that this is what was used to analyze the level of site speed optimization has been disputed by Googles Gary Illyes. This confirmation was further supported by the release of the Chrome User Experience Report.
What Is the Chrome User Experience Report?
The Chrome User Experience Report is basically data that consists of user experience metrics for the top websites online. The idea here is to collect data from real users that are browsing real websites rather than an analysis done by an artificial bot. As mentioned earlier, the data is collected from Chrome users that have given permission to share their browser usage data with Google.
With that said, the Chrome User Experience Report is purported to collect data from the top one million origins. This means that there will be other data sources at play due to the Google leaving out many websites in their search index. While its unlikely that the other sources used to evaluate site speed will ever be revealed, the new revelation about the Chrome browser is still valuable information for search marketers.
The Big Takeaway is to Focus on User Experience
This recent confirmation by Google still points to what many have already known. More focus needs to be invested in improving the user experience. Its not just about website optimization. In the future, its very likely that Google will be tracking activity on each site (time spent on site, number of actions, pages visited, etc.) and integrate these elements into their ranking factor if they havent already.
What Else Does This Revelation Mean for Search Marketers?
Previously, website owners have had to test the performance of their website with the Google bots. But now the process of site speed optimization can be done by primarily focusing on the users and on the Chrome browser. This simplifies and streamlines the website optimization process and makes the job of search marketers more easier.