Google has launched its Page Speed Service, enabling publishers to speed up how fast their web pages load, by 25 to 60%. Page speed, or page load time is not just a factor in the bounce rate of a web page, but also Google’s own Page Rank of it. All this is a part of Google’s "Make the Web Faster" campaign, which in the past included the Page Speed browser extension, the Page Speed Online API, the SPDY protocol, and the mod_pagespeed Apache module.
With the new service, Google will start web hosting publishers’ content on their servers, and present a web-optimized version to users. Publishers hence will not have to worry about compressing their content, caching solutions, or other website optimization details – Google will take care of it for them, once the publishers have pointed their DNS entry to Google.
Ram Ramani, the Google engineering manager introducing the Page Speed Service, described how it works:
“Page Speed Service is an online service that automatically speeds up loading of your web pages. To use the service, you need to sign up and point your site’s DNS entry to Google. Page Speed Service fetches content from your servers, rewrites your pages by applying web performance best practices, and serves them to end users via Google's servers across the globe. Your users will continue to access your site just as they did before, only with faster load times. Now you don’t have to worry about concatenating CSS, compressing images, caching, gzipping resources or other web performance best practices.”
To allow potential customers to check out the service, Google has launched a speed test website, allowing users to test just how much faster their web pages load with Page Speed enabled – check it out here. While for now the service is only open to limited numbers of webmasters (for free), a paid service will be launching soon for all. No pricing details have been revealed yet.
Of course, with such a great service, there are quite a few in the industry wondering what exactly Google’s motive is, as this puts them in the business of web-hosting or content delivery networking, things it had previously shied away from. This also gives it an inordinate amount of control over the information. Speaking to eWeek, Google tried to allay such fears, with the statement:
"We don't use the information collected from serving these Websites toward improving search results or targeting advertising to users. We may, however, use the information collected to improve the quality of Page Speed Service itself, including making pages serve even faster."