As you know, Google finally updated their SEO starter guide the other week after several years of it being stale. But one SEO wants to know why there are no direct mentions of page speed and HTTPS in the new guide.
The question came up in the Google Webmaster Help forums and a Google representative did not reply yet. The question was why aren’t there sections for page speed and HTTPs in this new guide, he felt it was fundamental to SEO.
The truth is, page speed and HTTPS are not core to SEO. Yes, users want fast and secure web sites but Google has been downplaying their importance in terms of them being a core ranking factor for some time now. Only really really slow sites have issues and the HTTPS ranking boost seems really tiny based on all historical studies I’ve seen.
Google does mention both of these to be honest in the guide. One of the questions Google asks you to think about reads “Is my website secure?” Another question Google asks in the guide is “Is my content fast and easy to access on all devices?” They also do mention AMP.
So the topics are mentioned but are not given much weight, time or standalone sections in this new SEO starter guide.
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.