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The work you are doing now will affect direct and indirect ranking signals. I think indirect are as important as the rocket scientists at Google creating their algorithm are not simplistic, linear and Newtonian.
When the SEO community reads the tea leaves of Googlers they often miss the point. For example, when John Mueller said something like ‘Google does not use ‘the Google Analytics’ bounce rate in their algorithm; it does not mean they do not use bounce rate. It means they do not use ‘the Google Analytics’ bounce rate. They use some other internal measure of bounce that is more complex and even more meaningful.
Similarly when John Mueller said something like ‘responsiveness’ does not give you a rank boast, it was in comparison to a site that uses the three accepted approaches to smartphone optimized sites. However, non-mobile optimized sites are demoted. You will fall in ranking if you are not mobile optimized. The equations are complex with a lot of indirect signals.
Further, as mobile site optimization evolves and mobile surpasses desktop, I think this will change further. Matt Cutts often qualities his statements with “yet’. Yet becomes reality in the next years. Cutts has conveyed what the user does is pretty much synonymous with SEO of the future if not today.
It is known that Google is segregating their searches. That is ranking displayed for mobile phones are different than a tablet or desktop. If you have a poor load time or high bounce on a mobile, you will rank lower, for mobile searches but on desktop users might have a different experience and different ranking.
Google is about A/B testing and ranking pages on how users use something from one top ten result compared to another. If you are responsive I think you will see some nice boast and get more free traffic with the Searches if your content is good.