It isn’t news the websites that have long loading times, are not exactly Google’s favorites. For quite some time it has always been pointed out that websites should load quickly. It was never an official ranking criterion with a high weighting, but much more a factor of many to reach good rankings. This seems to be changing now.
As it has now become known, Google wants to roll out a speed update in July 2018, which mainly concerns mobile web search. With this update, the load time becomes the official ranking factor but which significance it will have, is not known. This factor is important, otherwise Google would not have pointed it out and Google’s goal would not be to put fast-loading website in the front of the SERPs. The Google Webmaster Blog states:
The “Speed Update,” as we are calling it, wants only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standards to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal.
What else comes up with the summer update, is currently unknown. However, since this is an important update for Google, there will certainly be more changes that we need to address. It is well advised who already deals with AMP and other optimizations for a better website speed. Because you are then safe in many parts prepared for the update and only has to rework parts.