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Facebook to stop displaying posts to slow websites

Mark Tomkins - Creative Director at Aubergine
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Facebook is going to start penalising posts that display links to websites that are too slow to display in the newsfeed it announced on 2nd August.

(https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/08/news-feed-fyi-showing-you-stories-that-link-to-faster-loading-webpages/)

What does this mean you ask?

Well, it means that if individuals or businesses create a Facebook post that has a link to webpages that are either full versions of a blog, products for sale or just links to news articles it will take the page load speed of that website into account and decide whether to display it or not.

Their reasoning for this is to help in delivering device and connection-appropriate material more easily. They explain that it is better to display posts in newsfeed that contain links to sites that load quicker especially if the user is in a location that has poor internet connection, slow WiFi or low mobile connectivity. The algorithm changes, which it said they would roll out very soon, will take into consideration Wi-Fi speed and mobile phone connection and deliver content that is speed-appropriate.

Facebook also announced that it will start to cache (Prefetch as they call it) slower-speed content such as videos and links to off-platform content but that it will appear less-so against posts that contain links to sites that are much faster.

It is an interesting position to take given the launch of the new video service, Watch, that is purely video posting and therefore a much higher connection speed required.

They have not indicated clearly what those speed measurements are yet.

So, what does this mean for individuals and businesses that post links to content on the platform? We think it means that it will force website owners to ensure their sites are much more speed-optimised and better built. A faster mobile responsive version of the site is a must and is another boost in support of Google’s drive to make all websites have a responsive version for better search results.

All round it’s a good thing and something not just Facebook but also Google and general best practice SEO advice supports. However it will potentially encourage business page managers to host more content on Facebook rather than sending the user off the platform to another location such as a website for non-Facebook service.

Either way, website owners and brand managers that regularly post content on their business Facebook page with links to their website should ensure that their website is as optimised as possible for speed within the mobile environment, as this is where most Facebook users will arrive from the app.

One thing is also for sure, if website owners didn’t pay attention to Google’s announcement almost 2 years ago that it was going to prefer sites in search results that had a mobile version over those that didn’t, this will reinforce the message as their social channel content followers will naturally drop off as a result.

We have seen recently with the increased use of Google Insight PageSpeed tool that the entire large platform and service provider network is encouraging website owners to run faster, leaner websites and it’s something that we fully support.

If you’d like to test the speed of your website you can visit here and run it against Google Insight PageSpeed tool here:

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

If you would like to talk to us about improving your website’s speed or having a mobile responsive version created call us on 01525 373020. Mobile responsive site conversions start from as little as £249 + VAT.

 

Image courtesy of Facebook inc.