Google’s John Mueller has spilled the beans on the speed update that’s due in July. Not only did he let webmasters know that it could be hitting any day now, but also that it’ll be unlike any of the speed updates that have come before it.
It’ll still be measuring speed and knocking sites that are too slow, but the principle difference is that this update will work on a “gradual scale” – meaning that small and gradual improvements to speed can help improve your rankings.
In a recent webmaster hangout, he told participants that “the faster you can make your pages the more we can take that into account.”
He went on to clarify in follow up comments that this isn’t aimed so much at sites that are already fast, but more at the slow sites, saying that after this update, they can even benefit from incremental changes.
If you’ve become lackadaisical about page speed, this is a polite nudge.
Not only does it show Google’s continued focus on speed, but Google have uncharacteristically thrown slow sites a bone here.
They’re giving you the chance to see benefits even after small improvements, so you’ll no longer have to cross a certain threshold before you see positive ranking changes. It also means that the more you do, the better it’ll get.
With regards to the launch date, no specific date in July was given, so it could be any day now. Keep an eye on your Analytics for any changes.