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Slow and unsecure websites will be penalised by Google from July 2018

Google has announced it is introducing new algorithms in July 2018, that will cause slow and unsecure websites to be penalised. This means, your website could start dropping down the rankings, and your SEO campaign could be dramatically affected. Google wants to offer the best possible service to the users of their search engine. They want to show their users the best possible websites for their search, and these changes will allow them to do so.

Frustrated by your slow website?

If you are met with a slow and seemingly unresponsive website on your mobile, chances are you will become frustrated and look for a better performing website. Google understands this and wants to only present their users with the best possible sites, giving them the best service.

As a result, Google has now announced it will be using page speed as a ranking factor in mobile search. Since April 2010, this has been a ranking factor in desktop searches, but only now has Google confirmed this will also come into play on mobile searches.

What can you do to improve your website’s speed? 

There are a number of steps you can take to improve the page speed of your website. If you own a WordPress website, your first step should be to install a Cache plugin. We recommend W3 Total Cache, as this allows for the most customisation and it includes GZIP compression. You could also consider installing a content delivery network, and free versions such as Cloudflare work well.

Once you have installed a Cache plugin, you should start considering other ways to fix your issues. Large file sizes are often the main cause of slow websites. To address this, you can minify your website, which collects all your files in one to improve page speed.  If you install W3 Total Cache, you can enable this easily. You should also ensure all your images are optimised to reduce the file size. To do this, you can install a plugin on WordPress such as Smush, which you can set to automatically optimise your images.

Finally, always ensure your plugins are updated, as failing to do so can affect your page speed. If you are unsure of how to proceed, speak to your website developer for advice.

Is your website secure?

Not only will Google start penalising slow websites, but the search engine will also penalise unsecure websites. You need to ensure your website has an SSL by July 2018 to avoid being affected. This can be identified by the small screen padlock located next to a website’s URL. This is what prevents you being the victim of identify theft, or worse. It will also ensure users trust your website.

Any non-https sites will be marked as ‘not secure’ by July 2018, leaving both you and your users at risk. Get in touch with your web developer to find out if you are at risk and how to move forward.

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