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Have you ever landed on a website only for it to take what feels like an age to load, before exiting and finding an alternative that can load instantly?

If you don’t already consider site speed as one of the cornerstones of a successful website, now is the time to take note. Site speed has been a ranking factor for some time, and now Google has announced on the Chromium blog that they are testing the use of new badges to indicate when a website is slow. This is to aid in the pursuit of faster web experiences, and a bigger focus on mobile users.

In the Chromium blog post, which was published on Monday 11th November 2019, Google explained that:

“Badging is intended to identify when sites are authored in a way that makes them slow generally, looking at historical load latencies”

The new badges that are being trialled include signals on the loading screen (splash screen) as shown below and context-menu for links. Google is also testing a loading progress bar to indicate speed - red for slow, green for fast sites. In future, this could be expanded to include identifying when a page is likely to be slow, based on user device and network conditions.

#If more people buying from your site isn’t enough motivation to increase the performance of your site, this should be. At the moment, if your website doesn’t load in time, customers will become frustrated and likely leave to visit a competitor’s site instead. If they receive a notification saying ‘usually loads slow’, this could be a serious deterrent from them even returning, never mind purchasing with you.

Google is within the testing phase of this feature, and have mentioned that these updates may be added to Chrome. The key usage of ‘may’ signals that Google is looking for feedback from developers, so we’ll be keeping an eye on how this feature progresses.

Don’t get left behind with slow page speed, or slow reaction times. If you’re concerned about the performance of your site, take a look at PageSpeed Insights to find out your performance score.

Get in touch using the contact form to find out how we can help you with site speed and performance.

Further reading for boffins