March 31, 2011

Google Launches Page Speed to Get You Loading Faster

One thing I often hear from Google employees is that what's good for the Web is good for the company. The more people browsing the Web at faster speeds with more capable devices, the more people are using Google services and products. Of course, a corollary to this is that even more people will be seeing Google hosted ads and hosting those ads themselves. Last year, Google's Matt Cutts made waves by saying faster-loading sites would gain better results in Google's important search index, and you've seen the Chrome browser team talk about speed being a major differentiator for them. In that vein, today we see the launch of Page Speed, which analyses any domain and provides feedback to help you run even more quickly. The focus is not on total page load time per se, but to eliminate any pieces that introduce latency.

Page Speed Online, hosted in the company's Google Labs, looks at content of the Web page, and generates suggestions that could make the page load even more quickly. As they explain, reducing page load times "can reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates".

You can post any URL and see feedback for either desktop or mobile use. For example, this blog scored an 83 of 100, which does not mean it loads quicker than 81 percent of pages on the Web, but instead that the code could use almost 20 percent improvements. Page Speed then chunks the recommended improvements into low, medium and high priority, for example, suggesting I losslessly compress my images, leverage browser cashing, or reduce the amount of HTML and JavaScript code in the page.

Recommendations from Page Speed Online

In comparison, TechCrunch received a 70 out of 100, Google gave itself 100 out of 100, Apple scored a 78 and Digg received an 87.

Many of the suggestions referred to third party scripts for widgets and other trackers, which are largely out of my control, but there are some helpful tips that if followed could likely take seconds off every page load. To get your site a quick review, go to