Since the introduction of the Google +1 button, one of the most common complaints about it is the button’s load speed. The Google +1 button loads noticeably slowly, and depending on the actual setup of your web page, it can even hang up the loading of more important features on your site — like your content!
People have also stated their concerns that since Google tracks page load speed as one of the ranking factors that can actually impact the search engine optimization of your site, implementing the Google +1 button could slow your site load speed beyond a certain threshold and impact the rankings. In fact, there are people who have reported exactly that happening: implement Google +1 button and drop several rankings; remove the button and the rankings promptly return.
Happily, Google is not just aware of the issue, but they’ve addressed it.
Google Announces 2 Speed Changes to Google +1 Button
Google recently announced two important changes to the Google +1 button that affect loading speed. Both changes are very needed and very helpful:
- Google +1 Button Loading 3x Faster: Google says that they’ve rolled out changes that will flat out make the Google +1 button render 3 times faster. You don’t have to do anything at all — just sit back, sip some lemonade, and watch your +1 button load speedily for a change.
- Parallel Loading Snippet: The second change is probably even bigger than having the +1 button load 3x faster. Google has a new asynchronous code snippet for the +1 button. Using this new snippet, the Google +1 button will load in parallel with the rest of your page. This means that your text and CSS and images aren’t going to get stuck in line behind the +1 button; instead they’ll load away even if it’s taking the +1 button a while to show up.To get the benefit of this change you will, however, have to make some changes to your Google +1 button implementation. The code that is currently used in the header of the site for the +1 button needs to be removed, and instead the new asynchronous code needs to be added to the bottom of your site — after the +1 button is actually called with the <g:pluone> </g:plusone> code. So you’ll remove the code snippet currently in your header, and add a new one to your footer, just before the </body> tag to be safe.
Here is the new asynchronous code:
<!– Place this tag after the last plusone tag –>
po.src = ‘//apis.google.com/js/plusone.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’); s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s);
Just update that and now your Google +1 button will no longer hamper your site’s load speed, and of course the button itself will load faster as well.