• Gridlock

    This also seems relevant, if a bit left field:

    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/03/changes_to_the.html

  • neotrope

    YES! As part of our 2014 site revamp we did exactly that ; we’re using the Font Awesome 3.2x set of icons linked directly to our social media sites, and for AddThis we moved to buttons only without the like/share or “xx shares” elements, and got PageSpeed up to 95 Google/93 YSlow and haven’t fully minified the CSS. This is on complex HELP/FAQs page with images, branding logos, etc. (500kb page, technically with all the crap from Bootstrap, et al). CDN really helps, too, btw. :-)

  • Darren Cottingham

    Removing social buttons that indicate likes/shares might speed up page load, but does Google ‘read’ these numbers and use them as an indication of how popular an article is, and is that a ranking factor? I.e. if you have 20 Facebook likes of your article, does Google see the number 20 (seeing as it can’t tell from within Facebook itself), and give that some kind of ‘popularity’ value that would make your article rank over an equivalent article that only had 2 likes (all other things being equal). So, would you be improving one metric (page speed) at the expense of another (perceived popularity). Also, why would any decent webmaster leave a page at zero likes/shares – I mean, at least share it yourself!

  • http://www.myonlinetraininghub.com/ Philip Treacy

    You should use Socialite.js to load your social sharing icons/code after your page has completed loading. This way you don’t delay page load time. http://socialitejs.com/ or check this page to see how the social icons aren’t loaded loaded until the page has completed http://www.myonlinetraininghub.com/30-chants-for-better-excel-charts

  • http://www.myonlinetraininghub.com/ Philip Treacy

    You should use Socialite.js to load your social sharing icons/code after your page has completed loading. This way you don’t delay page load time. http://socialitejs.com/ or check this page to see how the social icons aren’t loaded loaded until the page has completed http://www.myonlinetraininghub.com/30-chants-for-better-excel-charts

  • neotrope

    I doubt Google would read the “shares” and “likes” as a true metric of popularity since the “buy likes” businesses can totally game that data, including software, robots, etc. — perhaps keeping that data on an “article” might be useful, but it’s not remotely accurate as it doesn’t take into account things like massive re-tweets or the “audience” seen by that ‘verse of peeps.

    Would be an interesting question to pose to Matt Cutts or whomever, as to whether those elements are even tracked.

  • Darren Cottingham

    I wouldn’t expect it would be a major signal, but you’re right about it being an interesting question to Matt Cutts (probably one he wouldn’t want to verify because of the possibility that buying likes would become more prevalent.
    If Google does track it, it would have to be normalised against Analytics data and industry benchmarks to make it fair.
    It’s probably more of a signal to people reading the article that at least someone else cares enough to flex their index finger slightly and click that share button.

  • smiro2000

    This looks very promising and takes asynchronous loading to the next step by loading it on-demand when you over over it.
    And it’s open source!

  • neotrope

    For those using AddThis, simply use the “async” method and this solves any load time issues. Same with G+, etc. We load jquery async off our CDN, then defer loading of minified single js file for all assets. Your mileage may vary. But I’ll check out socialite as that might be useful for some things, depending on how it works. :-)

  • Tim

    “… what users of these plugins might not know is that these tools can significantly increase page load speed…”

    Shouldn’t the sentence read “…increase page load times”?

    Think so. :-)

  • Chris

    Try using cloudflare, i had problems with these plugins and set up cloudflare and site speed went from mid 4′s and 5s to below 2 seconds.

  • Chris

    Try using cloudflare, i had problems with these plugins and set up cloudflare and site speed went from mid 4′s and 5s to below 2 seconds.