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Need for Speed! Google Updates Mobile Guidelines

smartphone-guide-15 [1]

In keeping up with the growing importance of mobile, Google recently updated their guidelines for mobile [2] site load speeds.  Specifically, Google now recommends that mobile sites load in under 1 second to avoid interrupting the user’s flow.  The search engine reports that a load time under 1 second can be achieved by prioritizing above-the-fold content to load first while the rest of the site continues to render in the background.

Google established a set of best practices [3] for achieving sub-1 second load times for content above-the-fold:

  1. Server must render the response (< 200 ms)
  2. Minimize the number of redirects
  3. Minimize the number of roundtrips to first render
  4. Avoid external blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content
  5. Reserve time for browser layout and rendering (200 ms)
  6. Optimize JavaScript execution and rendering time

To test these elements, Google updated the PageSpeed Insights Tool [4] to allow developers to determine how well their sites align with these guidelines.  For each URL entered, the tool provides recommendations for improving the site’s load speed and mobile performance.

These updates come in addition to Google’s official recommendation for using Responsive Web Design [5] as the best way to configure the same HTML across multiple devices. These guidelines should give webmasters more direction for determining how to capture the attention of the growing mobile audience.

For more information about how marketers are adapting to Google’s new mobile guidelines, check out our Mobile Experience Scorecard Report [6].