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Beyond App Streaming & AMP: Connection Speed’s Impact on Mobile Search

February 15, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By Suzzicks

Posted by Suzzicks

Most people in the digital community have heard of Facebook’s 2G Tuesdays. They were established to remind users that much of the world still accesses the Internet on slow 2G connections, rather than 3G, 4G, LTE or WiFi.

For an online marketer in the developed world, it’s easy to forget about slow connections, but Facebook is particularly sensitive to them. A very high portion of their traffic is mobile, and a large portion of their audience uses their mobile device as their primary access to the Internet, rather than a desktop or laptop.

Facebook and Google agree on this topic. Most digital marketers know that Google cares about latency and page speed, but many don’t realize that Google also cares about connection speed.

Last year they began testing their revived mobile transcoding service, which they call Google Web Lite, to make websites faster in countries like India and Indonesia, where connection speed is a significant problem for a large portion of the population. They also recently added Data Saver Mode in Chrome, which has a similar impact on browsing.

AMP pages begin ranking in mobile results this month

This February, Google will begin ranking AMP pages in mobile search results. These will provide mobile users access to news articles that universally render in about one second. If you haven’t seen it yet, use this link on your phone to submit a news search, and see how fast AMP pages really are. The results are quite impressive.

In addition to making web pages faster, Google wants to make search results faster. They strive to provide results that send searchers to sites optimized for the device they’re searching from. They may alter mobile search results based on the connection speed of the searcher’s device.

To help speed up websites and search results as the same time, Google is also striving to make Chrome faster and lighter. They’re even trying to ensure that it doesn’t drain device batteries, which is something that Android users will especially appreciate! Updated versions of Chrome actually have a new compression method called Brötli, which promises to compress website files 26% more than previous versions of Chrome.

We’ll review the impact of Google’s tests on changing search results based on connection speed. We’ll outline how and why results from these tests could become more salient and impact search results at various different speeds. Finally, we’ll explain why Google has a strong incentive to push this type of initiative forward, and how it will impact tracking and attribution for digital marketers now and in the future.

The diagram below provides a sneak peak of the various connection speeds at which Google products are best accessed and how these relationships will likely impact cross-device search results in the future.

Connection Speed

Best for these Google Products

Impact on SERP

WiFi & Fiber

Fiber, ChromeCast, ChromeCast Music, Google Play, Google Music, Google TV, ChromeBooks, Nest, YouTube, YouTube Red

Streaming Apps, Deep Linked Media Content

3G, 4G, LTE

Android Phones, Android Wear, …read more

Source:: Moz Blog

      

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