Google to mark slow websites in Chrome

Google make no secret about their mission to improve the web for users. Now slow websites are in their crosshairs. What are the Chrome badges they are proposing?

After insecure (non-HTTPS) websites, Google is now taking aim at slow-loading websites. Sites that load slowly due to technical problems could soon be flagged in the Chrome browser.

Google said it was working on several “speed badging” systems that let visitors know why a page is taking time to load.

No date has been given for addition to the Chrome browser and Google say they are working on options and notification formats.

Google’s Chrome is the most widely used browser, with around 50% usage online so this will be a very noticeable move.

Poorly coded websites are the target

In a blog, Google said it started the project to “to help users understand when a site may load slowly, while rewarding sites delivering fast experiences”.

Google are developing metrics to detect sites “authored” in a way that makes them slow generally. As well as poor coding , pages are often slow to load because they are waiting for off-site resources such as ad networks, social media widgets or code that analyses user behaviour.

In the blog, Chrome engineers said its plan to identify sites would be refined over time and was designed to improve the way websites were created.

“We are being very mindful with our approach to setting the bar for what is considered a good user experience and hope to land on something that is practically achievable by all developers,” it said.

Are you worried your site might get a “badge of shame”?

While our managed customers benefit from active performance monitoring as part of their management plan, we are currently developing a website performance audit to identify and fix the bottlenecks on your WordPress website. If this is something you’d be interested in beta testing, please get in touch

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