Published: Wed, November 13, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Google Chrome Might Warn You About Slow-Loading Websites

Google Chrome Might Warn You About Slow-Loading Websites

Google announced its Chrome Developer Summit that its self-named web browser may soon be able to identify webpages that take an eternity to load.

"In the future, Chrome may identify sites that typically load fast or slow for users with clear badging", explains a blog post from the Chrome team. "This may take a number of forms and we plan to experiment with different options, to determine which provides the most value to our users", the Chrome team said.

Google wants to identify and label pages that load slowly as a result of bad or flawed development. Badging is meant to identify when sites are authored in a way that makes them slow generally, looking at historical load latencies, said Google. Google says these are just a few possibilities and that there could also be a specific context menu for links baked into Chrome that displays typical site speeds before you even click a link.

Indicators could include text that says a page "usually loads slow" or might change the colour of a progress bar to hint that the page is a laggard. Really, aside from encouraging site owners to adopt best practice with regard to optimizing their site for speed, I'm not sure how effective it can really be.

Discussing the new Chrome initiative, Google said: "Speed has been one of Chrome's core principles since the beginning - we're constantly working to give users an experience that is instant as they browse the web".

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The proposal is also a subtle way for Google to name-and-shame websites with slow loading times.

The blog doesn't go into too much detail about the criteria for receiving a badge of honor/shame, but it does note that they would be based on historical load latencies.

For web optimisation, Google also suggested using its site performance resources including PageSpeed Insights, the online tool for optimization suggestions and Lighthouse, a personalised advice tool.

In the long-term, Chrome's goal will be to identify and badge websites offering "high-quality" experiences which may include other factors beyond just the website's speed.

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