Well that cat is finally out of the bag! Google has stated that in July they will now be using the mobile page speed of your website as a mobile index ranking indicator.
This is very important news. Google had already moved to using just the mobile index for determining the organic ranking for all platforms and no longer had a separately ranked desktop index. The announcement released on Wednesday January 17th goes even further.
Today we’re announcing that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches.
The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.
The key takeaway on this announcement is that page speed is important to Google and should be an important factor in the selection of any new WordPress theme or website design or web design platform.
Page speed will not be going away and site owners need to really start a review and efforts to address their slow loading websites.