Did that headline get you all stressed out? Not to be too alarmist. But yes, Google recently put out a recommendation that mobile sites must be up to delivering content fast. Fast meaning under 1 sec!! Zoiks!
According to Google most mobile sites take 7 seconds or more to load!
It makes sense to deliver content quickly on mobile devices, especially when data download speeds are still sketchy in some parts of the US.
Just the other day, I was finishing up a meeting in Coral Gables and had to rush towards the Miami Airport for another meeting with a local bank (approx 20 min away North West), at the last minute I receive a text message saying the meeting has been moved to new branch location in Downtown Miami (approx 15 min away North East). I am sitting in my car and I pull up Google Maps on my Iphone, enter the bank name and Miami, I zoom into the map of downtown looking for the location but can’t find anything. I jump on the Bank’s website which is not optimized for mobile and I have to pinch and zoom to find the “Locations” link – the text is so tiny that I have to squint to read it. I finally find the branches, under “Contact Us”. I click on the address, hoping it would pull up the location on Iphone maps – but unfortunately it was plain text. I copy and paste the first line of the address into Maps and voila – I found the location.
Here is an excerpt from the Google Webmaster Central Blog
Research shows that users’ flow is interrupted if pages take longer than one second to load. To deliver the best experience and keep the visitor engaged, our guidelines focus on rendering some content, known as the above-the-fold content, to users in one second (or less!) while the rest of the page continues to load and render in the background. The above-the-fold HTML, CSS, and JS is known as the critical rendering path.
Optimizing static mobile pages will be a lot easier than sites that deliver dynamic content. Keep in mind, the 1 sec rule is only for content Above-the-fold (ATF).
Google is getting serious about it – they will begin to roll out changes to search rankings based on Smartphone website performance. This could affect your sites rankings on search engines if not addressed properly. More from Google on this:
To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.
How can you create static mobile web pages that are some how connected to a dynamic desktop website? We have a simple solution and it is called www.firebirdmobile.com. Firebird Mobile takes a regular website and converts all of its pages into static (cached) content. But what if you update the content on the main site, what happens to your mobile site? This could be a nightmare situation if you had to constantly update the two versions and keep them in sync. This is where Firebird Mobile shines, it keeps your mobile site and regular desktop site in sync at least once a day.
Don’t despair, it is very possible to load a mobile site in under one second (ATF Content), we have done this for many clients and we can help you get there as well. Contact Us for a free consultation on how we can help.