15th December 2017

Facebook is becoming an increasingly used tool when it comes to promoting businesses. It comes as no surprise then that the social media giant is following in the footsteps of Google by penalising sites that are not optimised for mobile devices. After all, a recent study revealed that 94% of Facebook users access the site via a mobile device, so why would they be looking for sites that weren’t optimise for this medium?

The new Facebook algorithm that was launched in September is putting more focus on stories that load quickly on the News Feed. Stories that take a long time to load, particularly on a mobile device, will feature less and less. The intention is to create more content that is relevant and interesting – something that it is hoped in the long run will be beneficial to both individuals and businesses. Facebook has been quick to explain this move saying, “It’s frustrating to click on a link that leads to a slow loading webpage”, with 40% of website users abandoning a website after 3 seconds of delay.

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So what does this update do?

Facebook states “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.”

Of course, the full roll-out won’t happen overnight and the site isn’t looking to immediately penalise companies that haven’t optimised their sites. It is a warning about how things will be in the future and in reality it is something that most of us were already aware of. Facebook points out that webpages that are slow to load receive very little referral traffic, something that all websites are looking to obtain.

There are few things that you can do that can help you to get the most out of your website and use Facebook to maximum potential. Firstly, the changes to Facebook’s algorithm is not a surprise. Facebook has been heavily criticised for allowing “fake news” to appear on their site. Not surprisingly, the company has therefore moved to try and reduce, even eliminate sites that misinform, sensationalise or general don’t offer any benefit to their users. Sadly, slow loading pages and sites that are mobile-optimised fall into the last category.

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We can’t stress enough how important both Google and Facebook regard being optimised for mobile-devices is. Failure to ‘move with the times’ will result in your site and its content falling down the rankings. This is bad enough, but when you consider the same will happen for your paid content, you may sit up and take more notice. The basis of everything that Facebook does is now focused around mobile devices so you need to be making sure that you toe the line!

At Leapfrog Media, we can help you to ensure that your website is mobile-optimised and therefore gain the best results both on Google and Facebook. If you would like more information about our SEO services, please contact us for more details.