Faster is Better for Web Performance: Google Tackles Slow Web Pages

Google is moving forward with its efforts to make the web faster. Last week the company launched its latest tool to help site owners’ speed up their websites. Google follows a simple and effective mantra – faster is better.

Page Speed Service is an online service to automatically speed up loading of your web pages. According to Google’s site, ‘Page Speed Service fetches content from your servers, rewrites your pages by applying web performance best practices and serves them to end users via Google’s servers across the globe.’

The service provides improved web performance by creating cached replicas of a site at locations distributed around the globe. Visits to the site are then served by a high-speed, low-latency local server, rather than having to use the authoritative master server.

It also performs a number of optimizations to the content it serves up. For example, it includes on-the-fly compaction of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML, stripping out the extra whitespace that can pad these files by 20-30 percent, and performs optimization of compressed PNG and JPEG images. Taken together, Google claims that Page Speed Service’s features can make sites between 25 and 60 percent faster.

Web page bloat is still a problem. Unpredictable network conditions continue to be a fact of life online, particularly on mobile networks, so it’s still advisable to optimize Web pages for rapid loading.

Questions remain as to the impact the service will that have on the CDN market and as a third-party vendor, what kind of SLA assurance will be offered to ensure the site will not break. But for now, Google offers further validation that site speed is a crucial business issue. Automatically speeding up a website’s page load times is a good thing – faster-loading sites boost customer satisfaction.

Google Page Speed will help boost the download speeds, aiming to improve Web performance, for most sites, but it remains to be seen if the service will be a success. Tell us what you think.