Is it the web page that’s slow or is it your network connection? In the future, Google’s Chrome web browser may have an answer for you. Google announced today a plan to identify and label websites that typically load slowly by way of clear badging. The company says it may later choose to identify sites that are likely to be slow based on the user’s device and current network conditions, as well.
Google hasn’t yet determined how exactly the slow websites will be labeled but says it may experiment with different options to see which makes the most sense.
For example, a slow-loading website may show a “Loading…” page that includes a warning, like a caution icon and text that reads “usually loads slow.” Meanwhile, a fast website may display a green progress indicator bar at the top of the page instead of a blue one.
And for links, Chrome may use the context menu to help users know if the site will be slow so you can decide whether or not you want to click.
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. The company didn’t yet detail what those other factors may be but says the identification process will include more stringent criteria that are rolled out gradually over time. However, the goal will be to make these “good user experiences” something any web developer can achieve.
With the recent addition of Pagespeed Insights to Search Console and even posts from Google that speed is now a ranking factor, if your site is slow now is the time to fix it.