Facebook Announces Slow Webpages Will Now Rank Lower

Adaptability.

It’s perhaps the most important quality us digital marketers can have—particularly when it comes to publishing and web design.

See, it isn’t just the almighty Google who controls why and when sites are more visible according to their ranking standards.

Facebook just announced they’re playing favorites as well.

Check it out.

Here’s the Scoop

Facebook announced early this month that slower webpages will be ranked lower.

In other words, if you want your site’s link to show up at the top of your friends’ news feed, it better be a fast-loading site.

What’s with the Change?

There are a couple reasons for this change—one based in fact, one based in theory.

First, us internet users are awful impatient.

Let’s say a Facebook user scrolls through the app and stumbles upon an interesting-looking article posted by a friend. The user clicks on the link to read more, launching him or her away from Facebook’s app, only to idle for *gasp* over three seconds.

If loading takes any longer than that, statistically speaking, the user will typically abandon the site; and there’s a risk he or she may close out of the Facebook app altogether.

I know. Nightmare scenario.

But seriously—Facebook makes most of their money through ads; which means the brand relies on users sticking around for as long as possible.

Once a user closes out, that is revenue gone.

So, your slow site is a real bummer, man.

Reason #2: Instant Articles

Full disclosure: This was never directly mentioned by Facebook in their announcement; however, you may recall Facebook’s big push for Instant Articles not long ago.

Essentially, Instant Articles is a mobile publishing format through Facebook that allows publishers to distribute articles directly through the Facebook app. It loads and displays faster than opening a new webpage.

And while Facebook was pushing publishers to try the platform, some big names such as The New York Times and The Guardian have recently backed out.

Perhaps by changing their ranking standards, publishers will be more inclined to make the switch.

Regardless, web developers, designers, and publishers alike need to up their speed game if they want to survive Facebook’s new standards.

Need a Little Help?

A fast website is nothing without killer content and effective marketing. We can give you the whole package.

If you’re looking for some direction, reach out anytime. We’re happy to help.