Google's Matt Cutts: Page Speed Not More Important For Mobile Ranking

Aug 22, 2013 • 9:03 am | comments (15) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Mobile SEOTypically, SEO concepts are very logical. You want your pages to be easy to read, you want your title tags descriptive (bookmarks, etc), you want to make sure users and bots can discover your pages and you want to make sure the pages load fast. But you'd think that Google would tweak their mobile ranking algorithms to factor in page speed more so than desktop.

Most mobile connections are much slower than desktop connections. Although that is changing with LTE. But for the most part, you'd expect mobile users to want to get their content faster than desktop users.

But in a recent Google video from Google's Matt Cutts, they said "it is not that in mobile, we apply that [page speed ranking factor] any more or less than desktop search."

Here is the video:

Again, I'd thought they would tweak that up a bit for mobile search ranking.

They do so for sites that are not mobile friendly.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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08/22/2013 01:40 pm

if yes, than no. and no, speed is not important, but...

Charles Floate

08/22/2013 01:41 pm

I love how Cutts seems to always say what doesn't work, and doesn't tell you what does work.. except make "great content" Guys quit all you link building tactics! Quit your onpage optimization! Nofollow all your links! Just make good content and share it on twitter, and you'll rank like a king! *cough* yeh right!


08/22/2013 01:55 pm

"Guys quit all you link building tactics! Quit your onpage optimization! Nofollow all your links!" That's your interpretation of the information that is filtered out to us, from them. Never has he said 'quit all link building tactics'; never has he said 'quit on page optimization'; never has he said that you must nofollow all your links... ...I never understood where this interpretation comes from. One spamming tactic is being abused heavily and gets addressed and then there is a flood of, "GOOGLE WANTS YOU TO DO NO LINKS!!1!!one!! BUY ADWORDS LOL!!1! MATT SHMUCKS LOL!!1!" Funny how none of this concern for the 'now awful SERPs' was around this community when people could have someone pay them to spam their site to the top regardless of quality. Yea, a lot of small businesses got hurt...and a lot of them got hurt because of the manipulative, guideline breaking, tactics that were sold to them by 'SEOs' who were either too short-sighted to realize that Google would eventually come down on them hard, or by those who just didn't care what happened to their client once that final check was deposited. Obviously this isn't everyone in the field (there are lots of great people working out there), and not all of those who are royally miffed at Google are without cause. But the refusal to think things through and attempt to understand what is being said is maddening to witness. PS: Sorry Charles, I don't mean to pick on you or even categorize you as one of those I am complaining about. Your comment just happened to be the one I came across and provided the springboard.

Charles Floate

08/22/2013 02:01 pm

Well so far, Cutts has never said to dofollow specific links, but he's said to nofollow: blog comments, articles, guest posts, press releases, forum links, web 2.0 profiles - Pretty much all the links that are out there possible to acquire.. Never has he said to dofollow a link...


08/22/2013 03:17 pm

This is not as simple as "none of this concern for the 'now awful SERPs' was around this community". Google (as a company in general) was a structure where everyone could find something ... business culture or regular search or modern approach or simplicity or ... there were something for everyone. I forgot, when last time I heard from anyone, being happy with Google. Nowadays everyone can find the problem in Google ... questionable activity with users personal information or poor search results or outdated approach or shady guides or ... etc etc etc It seems to me, that people just don't like Google anymore. People are not proud to be involved in Google's business. They just have to do business with Google. No doubt Matt Cutts is a good person, but when he talk talk talk with no visible improvements in Google's own business, then such talking will be annoying sooner or later, even for very loyal users/partners. Furthermore, how this talking can be trustworthy, when the Google's main product - Search - is far from perfect to say at least (just recently I had another opportunity to acknowledge this). Make your own product perfect, then provide advises to others - shouldn't it work this way ? Reminds me President Obama activity. Remember how the whole world was excited when he was elected the first time ? Just to mention immediate Nobel prize award. And what now ? I want to see how the world became better and can't. It didn't. The biggest disappointment. Same with Google. People don't like it anymore.


08/22/2013 04:38 pm

Just take a look at the examples you cited: Blog comments --> This was being spammed to death, but if you follow a blog and have a piece of information that the users may find helpful, link away. If the site is dofollow, great; if it isn't, geat. The comment was supposed to be relevant to the topic anyway. If you want to bring some people into your site through it, that is fine...and why should the nofollow matter? Site owners are making these all nofollow because spammers got in there and made that necessary. Articles --> Not really sure what you mean by articles, but I assume you mean it along the same lines as guest posting. Guest Posts --> The dofollow/nofollow worry is only there for those who spam/accept spam. I guest blog very occasionally and only when very relevant and I am asked to, some of those links are dofollow and that is great and neither the site owner or myself fears repercussion because it isn't spam. The guest post isn't to bump rankings, it is to show users information/media they might enjoy and to hopefully funnel them over to my site. The user interaction is important, in my opinion, for ranking and I am happy to see a big increase of visitors who are digging deep into the site. Press Releases --> I don't do any for my site, but for my day job we occasionally put out a press release -very occasionally and only when it is important. PR sites are either very high quality and have no need for a nofollow because they have tight editorial standards or they are crappy and post/dofollow everything. Abused (willingly) by spammers and now the domain is a crap signal to Google. Forum Links --> See blog comments. Profiles --> If you are creating profiles all over the place for the dofollow link (which is what caused the problem in the first place), then you are obviously attempting to manipulate the rankings and Google has told you time and time again that on their platform, this isn't allowed and will be penalized. I think you need to look at what Matt Cutts says in the context of his job. He is Mr. Web he is talking about these mechanisms in that context. If you see his videos/talks and think that you have something to worry about...then you are probably spamming. Be smart with where and when you endorse your site (link). Just because you have to start thinking about these things doesn't mean that you can not still 'acquire links'. Are the number of places to put your link reduced? Sure are...but if you weren't relying on spam to rank your or your clients sites then you were and are fine.* *Of course there are those who seem to get caught up in the drag net, and funny enough, those are the ones who aren't laughed out of the Webmaster section of Google Groups. The 'woe is me, I can't spam anymore' falls on impatient and frustrated ears.

lez bennet

08/22/2013 07:58 pm

I am fast. I followed this easily. Fast vs slow, follow vs nofollow. Easy peezy

lez bennet

08/22/2013 07:59 pm


Charles Floate

08/23/2013 09:51 am

No, that wasn't the context he said. He said Press releases and Guest posts should *ALWAYS* be nofollow, as if you're blogging to get the link then it's manipulating pagerank and should be nofollowed...

Charles Floate

08/23/2013 09:53 am

"I SWEAR I SHALL CLOSE DOWN GUANTANAMO BAY" Illegally detains more people than any other president in history..


08/23/2013 12:10 pm

...always? Nah, that isn't what is being said. If you write a guest post and have a link to your site at the bottom (www. examplesite .com) where the authorship information is, and it is dofollow, then that is just fine. It's all about context, frequency, and relevancy. If you fill your guest post with anchor text links back to your site then yes, you will start to look like a spammer. I will say it again: If you watch one of Matts videos which addresses spam issues and you are worried about your own online actions, then you are doing the exact type of spamming that is his, and his teams, job to attempt to eliminate from their index. You or I or anyone else may disagree with how they attempt to address the things that they see as spam (and you or I may even disagree with some of their definitions), but at the end of the day it is their site and you need to adapt if you wish to play in the space they provide.

Charles Floate

08/23/2013 02:36 pm

So why did matt address guest posting as a whole and say to nofollow the links. From what you've said about the authorship etc.. He's never even once said that, to be honest now a days I don't listen to Cutts, haven't watched his videos in nearly 3 months as they never actually help and don't give you a straight answer. I'd rather go on what I know works and continue to rank my sites nicely because of it.


08/24/2013 02:25 am

Cutts' statement it implies there is no separate algorithm that is used to rank sites based on whether they load faster on mobiles or desktop. I think this is a fair deal if what Cutts said is true.

Tyler Ellison

08/27/2013 02:18 pm

I may be alone on this one, but to me, the the bounce rate is the real culprit in search rankings when we talk about load times. So, it's less about load time and more about bounce rate, since high load times drive up the bounce rate - so we draw a conclusion that high load times hurt rankings when in reality it's the high bounce rate that hurts it. I can't cite 'scientific' evidence of this, but that's how I would look at it if I were Google.


08/30/2013 03:00 pm

I think page speed should be very important for desktop and mobile. Should you make your site faster for SEO? No you should make it faster for users (which impacts SEO - bounce rate etc)

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