News & Updates - BY Design

Does Page Speed Count For Helpful Content

A recent report on the Search Engine Journal examined the relationship between page speed and the recent ‘helpful content’ update to the Google Algorithm.

Page Speed is something we are often asked about when building websites. On a basic level, it can be influenced by how an individual page is designed, such as optimising images and making sure video is streamed. On a site level, it is often in the hands of the various scripts that need to run in order to deliver the website in its entirety, including functionality, and on a server level, it comes down to the technology on which the website is stored.

Page Speed Scoring is a useful metric to check the above, however attractive and popular visual elements such as slideshows and product carousels can easily impact the score. Hence why many major popular retail websites don’t score highly for speed, yet conversely, do incredibly well when it comes to sales results.

The official answer from SEJ is that ‘improving or reducing page speed will not help you with the helpful content update from Google. Page speed is a technical SEO task that impacts the user experience in both a positive and a negative way, but it has nothing to do with the content on the page.’

Although a fast website is helpful to a user and can deliver the content faster, the speed of delivery isn’t related to the quality of the information on the page itself. The helpful content update is a modification to the Google algorithm that adds a classifier about whether the page contains helpful information to the search query.

If we consider helpful content in simple terms - trying to change a thermostat or learning to bake sourdough bread. If you’re looking for the answer in Google, you just want to know how to do it.

When a website buries the information below paragraphs of storytelling about the author’s first time doing it, why it is important to them, and the reasons they had to learn, it can make readers frustrated.

The entire job of a search engine is to provide the most relevant answer in the fastest amount of time and easiest manner to absorb. That’s why placing the answer at the top vs. under your personal story is more helpful.

For assistance in making sure your website content is delivered in a helpful way, please get in touch.

Source: Search Engine Journal

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