Facebook to rank fast loading websites higher

According to Facebook’s recent estimates, close to 40 percent internet users abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. Taking this into account, the company has announced that it would be placing fast loading websites higher up in the News Feed.

When the update is rolled out, News Feed will host more fast loading stories and fewer content from websites that take longer to load. A number of factors like the user’s connectivity, signal reception and the general network speed to the corresponding website are taken into account before determining the site’s position in the News Feed. If the parameters indicate a shorter load time, the URL will appear higher in the News Feed.

Currently, Facebook tailors the News Feed depending on the device and network the user is on. For example, a mobile user on cellular data will see fewer high definition videos and more status updates and photos. Along with this, Facebook also prefetches URLs to improve the load time. But with the proposed update, users are expected to have a much better experience.

Since slower websites can experience a drop in their referral traffic, Facebook has released a set of guidelines for webmasters, so as to optimize their sites for mobile devices and to improve the overall performance.

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