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Google has announced it plans to warn users of its Chrome browser about slow sites using a method called “badging”.

The idea is to provide a sign letting users know when a site typically loads slowly before they ever click a link to that site or while the site loads. Google sees this as a way to “reward” fast sites, saying:

“We think the web can do better and want to help users understand when a site may load slowly, while rewarding sites delivering fast experiences.”

For example, Google published one concept for what a slow speed badge could look like while a site is loading:

In this case, it is likely that the badge could increase abandonment rates for slow sites.

The company is also talking about using contextual menus that preview links and would include similar badges indicating a site is fast.

Another idea includes subtly changing the color of loading bars to indicate whether a site is fast:

As the company explained in its announcement:

“Our early explorations will look at a number of Chrome surfaces, including the loading screen (splash screen), loading progress bar and context-menu for links. The latter could enable insight into typical site speeds so you’re aware before you navigate.“

The web browser admits this idea is in the early stages, and may considerably change before they determine “which provides the most value to our users.”

Additionally, the company says they plan to expand the badges to include a number of metrics aside from speed:

“Our long-term goal is to define badging for high-quality experiences, which may include signals beyond just speed.”

In an increasingly mobile world, the speed of your website can be a major make-or-break point for any business. Estimates suggest most sites lose half or more of their visitors just while their page is loading because people aren’t willing to wait around.

So, how can you fix your site and make it lightning-fast? Google can tell you specifically what you need to do with its Test My Site tool, which just received a new set of features this week.

Now, the tool can tell you a number of things about your site, including:

  • Your site’s mobile speed
  • The number of visitors you may be losing
  • How you compare to the competition
  • Specific recommendations about how to make your site faster

To show just how effective it can be to make your site faster, Google points to a case study from a Nashville fencing company. According to Google, Yard Dog Fence Company managed to double its sales just by following the recommendations suggested by the Test My Site Tool, such as reducing image size.

The days of waiting around for minutes while a website loads are gone. These days, people are likely to leave if your page hasn’t rendered in five seconds or less. It may seem like a tough challenge to speed your site up that much, but the Test My Site Tool will give you an actionable list made specifically for your site. With that as a roadmap, you’ll be able to make the changes you need to supercharge your site, improve your traffic, and increase conversions.

How long does your website take to load? If it takes more than three seconds, you’re likely losing more than half of your visitors.

It is no secret that everyone wants everything as fast as possible. That is especially true on the web. The faster your page loads, the more people will stick around and the happier they will be with their experience.

What you might not know, is that your site speed can directly affect your conversions and sales.

Data from Kissmetrics shows that up to 79% of customers who aren’t satisfied with your site’s performance say they are less likely to buy from the same site again. Taking that a step further, many first-time customers may leave before they ever get a chance to see what you have to offer in the first place.

Web Development agency Skilled collected 12 case studies from real businesses in an infographic showing just how powerful page load time really is. If you’ve ever doubted the importance of keeping your site optimized to be as fast as possible, you’ll likely be a believer after seeing these:

Page Speed

FacebookVideo

Your site’s speed on mobile devices will soon be a factor deciding how many people see your Facebook ads, according to an announcement from the social network this week.

In Facebook’s words:

“Over the coming months, we’re working to improve ad experiences for people by considering website performance and a person’s network connection in our ad auction and delivery system.”

While it isn’t clear exactly how site speed and page performance will be implemented into Facebook’s algorithm for displaying ads, the social network is already introducing features to help brands deliver content more quickly across Facebook.

In addition to the use of Accelerated Mobile Pages, Facebook is introducing prefetching to help users see the content they are interested in as quickly as possible. This week’s announcement explains that prefetching starts loading mobile content in the Facebook in-app browser before a user ever clicks a link.

According to their estimates, this speeds up mobile site load time by as much as 29 percent and decreases the rate of site abandonment during the loading process.

The new Facebook help page dedicated to prefetching goes a bit more in-depth about how the system actually works:

“For each News Feed mobile ad, Facebook attempts to predict how likely a person is to click on an ad. If the prediction score meets the requirements, we prefetch the initial HTML page when the story first appears on a person’s screen. This content is cached locally on the person’s device for a short amount of time. If the person clicks on the ad, Facebook loads the initial page from the cache. The initial page then makes regular web requests to the publisher’s server to load the remainder of the page. We currently only cache the initial HTML page. Keep in mind that the CSS, Javascript or images on the website are not cached.”

Ultimately, Facebook’s changes are aimed at improving their overall ad performance and increasing engagement with ads. Advertisers with slow-performing sites tend to also underperform in many ad metrics.

While Facebook’s new feature will improve content delivery speed across the board, the company also offered five tips for tuning up your site:

  • Minimizing landing page redirects, plugins and link shorteners
  • Compressing files to decrease mobile rendering time
  • Improving server response time by utilizing multi-region hosting
  • Using a high-quality Content Delivery Network to reach audiences quickly
  • Removing render-blocking javascript

Google is continuously finding new ways to measure the quality of web sites, to choose which pages should be ranked higher.  Relevance is still king for SEO, but one new element for search engine optimization (listed by Google directly) is web site speed. Read more