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+1 Button is coming to Europe, but might slow your site down

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 54 seconds

I implemented the +1 button in my Google Search on Google.com as soon as it became available. Why? Because I wanted to see what it did and if it worked or not. And I got used to it pretty quickly. Last week I was doing a lecture and talked about the +1 button there. Nobody had used it, a few had heard of it and only one or two had actually seen it. It shows how we live in a different world. But more important it shows Google’s US focus, after all, it was only available on the .com. So far at least.

Google has now announced it will be rolling out the +1 button ‘around the world’. Yet that ‘around the world’ should be taken with a grain of salt: they are starting off with four other local Google search pages. The others will follow “soon after”.

The countries in which Google will start are google.co.uk, google.de, google.jp and google.fr, so three of the major European countries get the +1 button first. I really don’t know why the +1 button couldn’t be rolled out in all the countries at once, maybe Google is afraid of the effect. But it does get a bit annoying that some countries always have to wait.

Slowing things down

Google is urging sites to put the +1 button up. The code for the button can be taken from Webmastertools. But there has been rumor that the +1 button is slowing websites down.

Aaron Peters did a research on this and found that “the Google +1 Button performance is very disappointing. The extra page load time can easily be 2 seconds.”

He found 6 performance issues for the Google +1 Button:

  • Blocking JavaScript in the
  • Redirect from HTTP to HTTPS (aka: the typo in the code generator)
  • Browser caching for 6 minutes, proxies disallowed
  • Serve the JS file over HTTPS
  • Document.write for Blogger pages
  • JS file is not minified

You can read his analysis here.

I haven’t noticed too much of websites being slowed down by the +1 button but it wouldn’t surprise me if it actually did. And it is quite remarkable since Google these days talks a lot about the speed of the web.

Did you experience any issues with the speed of your site after installing the +1 button?

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Bas van den Beld is a speaker, trainer and online marketing strategist. Bas is the founder of Stateofdigital.com. -- You can hire Bas to speak, train or consult.
  • http://seo2.0.onreact.com Tad Chef

    By now there are also speed optimized +1 button versions. See here:

  • http://www.80stees.com Kevin Stecko

    I took it off our site because it slowed things down to the point that I felt it would hurt sales.

  • http://oneweb.co Dave Hinxy

    I have added the google plus one button to my main site today and BOOM! The site is running at half speed while the button accesses gstatic.com Needless to say I will rip out the code for the google button until the issue is fixed.

  • Pingback: Google +1 valid HTML without slowing page load - Jonathan Rawle's Website()

  • Scott

    Slow as ever.

  • http://www.westsidefoundry.com Westside Foundry

    I thought to implement it today on my website.
    OMG, what a mistake!!! The site comes to a crawl…. Loading time is OVER 10 times longer as it was without the “+1” button…
    Meanwhile, it also stops your other scripts on your page, till that thing is fully loaded, causing on my website the menu not to function for that time…

    As fast as I put the code into the pages, the faster it comes out!