Google Chrome announces plans to label slow websites

SAN FRANCISCO: US-based search engine giant Google has announced its plan to identify and label websites that typically load slowly by way of clear badging.

“Badging is intended to identify when sites are authored in a way that makes them slow generally, looking at historical load latencies. Further along, we may expand this to include identifying when a page is likely to be slow for a user based on their device and network conditions,” Google’s Chrome team said in a blog post on Monday.

The labelling of sites would take into account historical load latencies and would use badges to highlight when a site is authoured to be slow.

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Additionally, the Chrome team is also exploring how to identify sites that will load slowly based on device hardware or network connectivity.

The company is also considering “context menu,” which would involve Google offering a link showing the typical speeds for the site before a user choose to visit it.

“Our early explorations will look at a number of Chrome surfaces, including the loading screen (splash screen), loading progress bar and context-menu for links. The latter could enable insight into typical site speeds so you’re aware before you navigate,” the company added.

The plan to identify sites that are fast or slow will take place in gradual steps, based on increasingly stringent criteria. The long-term goal of the company is to define badging for high-quality experiences, which may include signals beyond just speed.

Google also highlighted a couple of tools – PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse – as starting points to evaluate the performance of a website and encourages owners not to wait to optimize their sites.

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