In an interesting development for those who use social media for business, a slow website will now cause lower rankings within Facebook. In a move that could cause problems for many businesses, Facebook’s newest version of their news feed algorithm will make an estimate as to how long it will take a page to load from its mobile app and use that number when ranking people’s feeds. That is the type of news which can cause website development companies to re-assess how they will advise clients who use the social media giant along with how they will use it themselves.
The Need for Speed
Of course this isn’t the first time speed has been mentioned as an important ranking signal. Google has been using site speed as a ranking factor since 2010 and with the more recent push towards mobile friendly sites, the need for speed has become more important for higher rankings.
In the case of Facebook, this shift is seen more as a push to get people to use their Instant Articles feature, however the case for a Google-like experience when it comes to focusing on what their users will appreciate also makes sense.
After all, they don’t want to clog up a users feed with slow-loading pages that will lessen peoples experiences while on the platform. That could then make people feel that the issue is with the platform and not the associated links.
Luckily this is something that they are planning on rolling out gradually over the next few months which means if your business suffers from slow-site-itis you still have time to make adjustments.
Ways to Increase Speed
Here are some methods you can use to increase the speed of your website for users:
- AMP – AMP is Google’s Accelerated Mobile Project which is an open source program built on AMP HTML, a new open coding framework that uses existing web technologies. To reduce load times, AMP trims HTML tags and reduces page rendering which basically cuts the fat from your web pages. Google then uses their own content delivery network known as the Google AMP Cache to store web pages and then deliver them at blazing speeds.
- Better Web Design – Without using AMP or a CDN, there are other ways to increase the speed of a website which revolve around utilizing a better design that is focused on speed. For example, you can use an image-editing program to properly size images and then compress them for maximum speed. Keeping scripts up to date, removing unneeded features and plugins, using compression, and utilizing better coding that loads features in the best order for a faster experience are all other concepts that a good design should utilize.
- Different Hosting Plan – Not all hosting plans are built the same. Some are less expensive but in return provide a slower experience. Using either a dedicated hosting option or Virtual Private Servers (VPS) are both options that will provide much better speed that using a shared hosting plan.
The bottom line is that this change within Facebook is to be expected. A slow website should cause lower rankings within Facebook and elsewhere because as consumers we want speed. Nobody wants to wait anymore for web pages to render and provide the information we need. So if your site is not able to keep up with the flow of traffic you should consider some of the available options to get your business out of the slow lane and back where it belongs.