Facebook engineers Jiayi Wen and Shengbo Guo explained in a newsroom post Aug. 2 that an update to News Feed will soon show users more stories that will load quicker on mobile. This will take into account not only the speed of the site itself, but also users' network connections at the time they are browsing.
For experts on SEO and Google, the importance of having a responsive website that is mobile-friendly is not news. As Google's Katy Martin emphasized to us recently, mobile is going to be the search giant's big priority for the foreseeable future. Google already offers free tools for checking your site's speed (PageSpeed Insights) and mobile-friendliness (Mobile-Friendly Test) that can offer suggestions for how to improve performance.
But for any brands that have been dragging their feet on getting right with Google, Facebook's announcement should make them finally sit up and pay attention. Mobile is no longer the way of the future, it's the way of the present. Wen and Guo also authored a short article of best practices to improve mobile site performance that will help brands get on board. Their top ten tips, excerpted here:
- Minimize landing page redirects, plugins and link shorteners
- Compress files to decrease mobile rendering time
- Improve server response time by utilizing multi-region hosting
- Use a high-quality content delivery network to reach your audience quickly
- Remove redundant data that does not impact how the page is processed by the browser
- Optimize images to reduce file size without diminishing visual quality
- Reduce the size of above the fold content to prioritize visual content
- Use asynchronous scripts to streamline page render time
- Dynamically adjust the content for slower connections/devices
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