The speed at which any web page loads onto a user?s browser. It is speculated that load time may have a meaningful influence on organic search engine rankings and, to some extent, on local search engine rankings.

The speculation was confirmed by the Google Webmaster Central Blog post from Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Using page speed in mobile search ranking

People want to be able to find answers to their questions as fast as possible ? studies show that people really care about the speed of a page. Although speed has been used in ranking for some time, that signal was focused on desktop searches. Today we?re announcing that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches.

The ?Speed Update,? as we?re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.

We encourage developers to think broadly about how performance affects a user?s experience of their page and to consider a variety of user experience metrics. Although there is no tool that directly indicates whether a page is affected by this new ranking factor, here are some resources that can be used to evaluate a page?s performance.

Chrome User Experience Report, a public dataset of key user experience metrics for popular destinations on the web, as experienced by Chrome users under real-world conditions

Lighthouse, an automated tool and a part of Chrome Developer Tools for auditing the quality (performance, accessibility, and more) of web pages

PageSpeed Insights, a tool that indicates how well a page performs on the Chrome UX Report and suggests performance optimizations