Feature Article

April 17, 2013

Mobile Web Access Speeds have Increased by 30 Percent

Google Analytics is a service which is offered by Google that is designed to generate detailed statistical information about a website’s traffic. It also offers information on traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. The product is aimed at marketers, as opposed to webmasters, and technologists from which the industry of web analytics originally grew.

Google Analytics can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines and social networks, direct visits and referring sites. It also displays advertising, pay-per-click networks, e-mail marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents.

On April 15, 2013, Google Analytics came out with a new report that states that browsing from a mobile device has become meaningfully faster in the past 12 months. Supposedly, the average page load time on mobile devices is now comparable to desktop page load times.

For those of you who like numbers, the average page load time on a mobile device is now around 30 percent faster than it was in early 2012. While Google found that mobile page load speeds have increased significantly, desktop speeds had only very minor speed-ups.

One of the factors that make the mobile speeds more impressive is that according to Google, the average Web page increased by over 56 percent in the last 12 months. If opening a Web page on a mobile device increased by at least 30 percent while the size of the Web page increased by over 56 percent, then that is a significant number.

The Google report is based on aggregate data taken from Google Analytics’ Site Speed reports. This is something that users can “opt-in” for and transmit the data to Google. Google feels that given the fact of how many sites use Google Analytics, the data gathered is likely to be a good representation of the Web as a whole.

As stated by Google, data showed that a year ago mobile browsing was typically one and a half times slower than desktop browsing. Google attributes this year’s increase to more powerful mobile devices, improved browsers and the rise of 4G LTE networks.

The Google study also found that the fastest page load times were in Japan. This was followed by Sweden, Poland and the United States. When it came to desktop page load speeds, Japan and Sweden still took the lead. Canada and the U.S. were next.

There were some comments made about the lack of detailed information in this report. What carriers were included and what version of the mobile OS was used? Google included a lot of graphs and charts in their report. You can browse through them all by clicking here. I should warn you that you might need a magnifying glass so see some of it.

Here is an interesting fact, Poland is listed as coming in third in the mobile category, but if you can actually see the chart (magnifying glass!) it looks like Germany has faster speeds. Hmmm.

Edited by Ashley Caputo

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