How Google+ Could Cost Online Retailers Millions

Not Much for Etailers to ‘Like’ About Social Plug-Ins

Social plug-in performance

Social plug-in performance

One second is how long Google’s +1 plug-in drags down page-load time, and that’s not “just” a second when research shows that ten percent of site traffic is lost for every extra second a site takes to load.

Facebook’s ubiquitous ‘like’ plug-in stalls page load time by approximately .2 seconds. This means featuring both plug-ins on a page adds c. 1.2 seconds to its load time.  That translates to more than a 10% loss in visitors, and by extension, in conversion.

Otherwise put, an online business with $35 million in revenue could lose over $3.5 million in sales using just these two plug-ins.

Adoption of Google’s +1 plug-in has been astonishingly fast. Last week, BrightEdge released a report on the adoption of social sharing plug-ins on websites. Their study found c. half the top 10,000 websites have a link to their Facebook pages from their home page and (talk about early adoption!) Google+ is already in second place.  In fact, Google’s +1 plug-in is already more widely deployed than Twitter’s share button.

Smart Tag Loading (STL) is the solution for social plug-in page drag as well as how tags affect page load speed.

web page response performance social plug in over time

Web page response over time

Webpage response social plug ins

Webpage response comparison of different social plug-ins

Many thanks to our friends at Catchpoint, a web performance monitoring company, who were kind enough to provide the charts illustrating how social plug-ins affect page load time in milliseconds.

Has your site been affected by Google’s +1 plug-in? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section.

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