Google has always focused on providing accurate search results, giving users the information they need and improving the user experience. In the past few years, the company has made a concerted effort to improve search speed and encourage web application developers, open-source communities, and other such contributors to focus on speed as well. Google’s primary goal is to help develop a healthy and flourishing internet landscape and the company has partnered with WordPress to get closer to that goal.
What is WordPress and why is it important?
WordPress is a highly popular open-source content management system that commands around 59% of the industry market share. The platform is based on the PHP framework and makes it easier for people to create comprehensive and efficient websites. It is feature-rich, SEO and user-friendly, and has a large number of active users.
According to TechRepublic, WordPress powers 27% of the web, which makes it a powerful presence on the Internet. As this CMS is an industry leader, changes in WP operations, coding, and the platform will encourage others to follow. And so it makes sense for Google to focus on this platform first.
Focus on speed and mobile
In 2015, Google launched the AMP project with the goal of making the web experience better for everyone, especially on the mobile platform. The company has worked with developers in the open-source community. They have also encouraged adoption of mobile-friendly technology, but progress has been slow.
Research suggests that less than 0.1% of websites have adopted AMP and 79.9% primarily use HTML. Analysis also indicates that most high-traffic websites use AMP while low-traffic sites use XHTML and HTML. With the intent of pushing adoption even further, Google is expected to roll out the Speed Update in 2018 and will focus on Mobile First. This means websites with better load times, speed and performance on the mobile platform might gain a higher ranking on the SERPs.
Post the update, marketers and website owners won’t be able to rely on their desktop website performance to rank higher on mobile SERPs. As mobile search volume has exceeded desktop volume, they will have to optimize for mobile if they want good visibility and higher organic traffic.
Google and WordPress
Google’s team will work to bring the WordPress eco-system up to current standards by using the latest technology like PWA or progressive web apps. It will work on all the components of the system such as plug-ins, themes, core coding, tools, and infrastructure, etc. which will improve the WordPress experience across the board.
Currently, websites based on WordPress are lagging behind sites built on other platforms. It shows poor performance on aspects like the number of requests going to the server, resource bites loaded, visual speed index, and content load times. The partnership between WordPress and Google might help the CMS platform shed the excess bloat in its coding and make it more streamlined. This will improve load speeds and overall website performance.
With better integration of modern technologies, WordPress performance will improve and that will impact the performance of all websites on this platform.