Google rolling out user experience recommendations in page speed tool

Google

One of our search team  members noticed some changes to Google’s Page Speed Tool this morning, with the rollout of ‘User Experience’ recommendations for mobile.

google page speed user experience recommendations

It appears Google is now taking a view on whether ‘tap targets’ (buttons, links etc) are ‘too small’ for users on mobile touchscreen devices:

google tap target recommendation

If we run the Co-operative Bank website through, for example (a site that hasn’t got a mobile optimised site), we get a whole list of recommendations:

co op google user experience font sizes

At the moment, the ‘see screenshot’ link is inactive.

Google is also recommending that the viewport is configured for mobile users, effectively calling the Co-Op bank website out for showing the same site to users on mobile as on desktops:

co op configure viewport

Impact on search?

Back at PubCon in October this year, Google’s Matt Cutts advised users that their mobile organic traffic is likely to be negatively impacted if they offer users a poor experience. These recommendations could give us some insight into a number of factors that could be taken into account (aside from things like use of Flash and mobile load speed) when Google is considering whether or not you are offering such users a good experience.

Is the page speed score about to become a ‘user experience’ score?

What’s interesting about this is that Google specifies on the new user experience recommendations that these recommendations are, “not currently a part of the overall score.”

Not  currently  part of the score. Does this imply that they are about to become a part of the overall score? And as some of these are out and out user experience recommendations (rather than Page Speed recommendations) does that imply that the future of Google’s own Page Speed tool lies in becoming more of a ‘user experience’ centric tool. Given the focus Google is placing on users and the tight link between load speed and user experience, it would certainly make sense that, if Google can offer recommendations in improving things for users, that it should do!

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this!


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Tecmark Author Stacey MacNaught

About the Author

Stacey MacNaught: Search Director

Stacey joined us in 2009 as a junior copywriter; now she's a recognised figure on the global speaking circuit, having wowed audiences in the UK, Europe and US - including at MozCon 2014. She leads our search team and works with clients to deliver high-level campaign strategies.

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