FYI : Faster Loading Webpages will have Higher Priority in Facebook News Feed

Facebook news feed

Facebook is constantly tweaking their news feed algorithm. The algorithm helps determine what users see and what they don’t, all in an effort to make the Facebook user experience as engaging and addicting as possible. The latest impact of the algorithm to the Facebook news feed: Website speed.

This continues a trend for Facebook, putting an emphasis on website speed from a mobile device. They realize that 40 percent of users abandon after waiting more than three seconds for a page to load. This behaviour was at least partially behind the development of Canvas and Instant Articles, which provide publishers with an instant-load alternative.

Let’s take a closer look at the change to the Facebook news feed algorithm, as well as some of Facebook’s recommendations to keep your content at the top of the feed.

News Feed Update Favors Website Speed

Here is the exact update, according to Facebook:

With this update, we’ll soon take into account the estimated load time of a webpage that someone clicks to from any link in News Feed on the mobile app. Factors such as the person’s current network connection and the general speed of the corresponding webpage will be considered. If signals indicate the webpage will load quickly, the link to that webpage might appear higher in your feed.

As stated above, this update appears to impact mobile only. A slow load time does not guarantee low priority in the news feed, just as a fast load time does not guarantee high priority. But it is one of many factors that Facebook will consider.

While they don’t come out and say it, this will likely mean that Facebook will ultimately favour Instant Articles (also speculated by Sarah Perez of Tech Crunch here).

Instant Articles present an alternate version of your web page that is hosted on Facebook servers. As a result, it loads instantly, which — in theory — provides an improved user experience. It would be easy to assume that such articles will get a boost.

Many publishers remain sceptical of the format due to the loss of control. While it isn’t easy to adjust, you must consider the increased views and improved user experience when measuring value to the user and your brand.

I use Instant Articles and while I’m not bullish on the format, I consider it a necessary adoption for the time being.

When Will This Roll Out?

Facebook’s updates tend to be gradual, and this is no exception. In their announcement, Facebook says the update will be rolled out “gradually over the coming months.”

How much of an impact will this make to your page and brand? It’s impossible to say. But it would be smart to take a close look at whether the speed of your website can be improved in the interim.

Facebook Recommendations to Improve Website Speed

Facebook offers the following 10 website speed best practices to give your links a fighting chance in the news feed:

  1. Minimize landing page redirects, plugins, and link shorteners
  2. Compress files to decrease mobile rendering time
  3. Improve server response time by utilizing multi region hosting
  4. Remove render-blocking javascript
  5. Use a high-quality content delivery network to reach your audience quickly
  6. Remove redundant data that does not impact how the page is processed by the browser
  7. Optimize images to reduce file size without diminishing visual quality
  8. Reduce the size of above the fold content to prioritize visual content
  9. Use asynchronous scripts to streamline page render time
  10. Dynamically adjust the content for slower connections/devices

If you have a tech person who manages your website, pass this on to them and make sure that you’re doing all you can to minimize load time.

Tools for Testing and Improving Website Speed

I appreciate that Facebook provides several tools to help us test and improve the speed of our websites. Here are some tools that they recommend:

PageSpeed Insights by Google

Page Speed tool by firefox

WebPagetest
Dotcom-Monitor

Your Turn

I’ve spotted areas of improvement for my website thanks to these tools, and I’m hoping to get things cleaned up prior to Facebook’s update. Have you tested your own website yet? What are you seeing?

Source: jonloomer.com

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Written by Enam Kumi

Enam Kumi

I blend Tech, Business and Lifestyle stories in a fun and interactive way. Got news, products or services to promote on the blog Call/Whatsapp +233243706059 lets chat. Follow on FB, Twitter & IG : @enamkumi