We’ve talked before about the importance of site speed. If a website or page takes too long to load, the user (read: potential customer) will go to another, quicker site. By “too long”, studies show that this is about 3 seconds, so you don’t have a lot of time to play with. Slow sites can cost you customers and conversions.
According to a blog post from the Google Chrome team, Google is looking to apply a badge to websites that load slowly. The Chrome team states that “[t]his 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 badge would highlight sites that are designed in such a way that they load slowly. The attributes that Google will look at include such things as historical load latencies, device hardware, and network connectivity. If a site is deemed too slow by the Google checklist, there are a couple of ways that Google is looking to warn Chrome users.
The Chrome team says that they are experimenting with either a splash screen or a colored loading bar that would be green for fast sites and, we’re assuming, red to alert the user to a slow site.
The Chrome team is working with other Google teams to “explore labeling the quality of experiences at Google.” Their end goal is to set the bar for what makes up a good user experience and is something that can be used by all of their developers.
As of this writing, there has been no information shared in regards to when the new badging system will appear. Google unveiled its plans at the Chrome Dev Summit in mid-November with a lot of vague information. It is most likely that Google is looking for feedback from web developers before they launch the system.
If you’re not sure if your site is running fast enough, give Team WTI a call. We can test the speed of your test and work with you to make sure your site isn’t branded a slowpoke by Google.