Today, Google released Page Speed Service, a paid feature that automatically optimizes websites so that their pages load faster. The feature should benefit users lacking expertise in things like Java and CSS coding, or lacking the time to constantly tweak their sites. “It’s for people who either don’t know how to make these changes or don’t want to make these changes,” explains Google engineering manager Ram Ramadi.
Google’s growth depends on a faster Internet. For a meager 400 millisecond delay, Google’s own experiment showed a 0.21% drop in searches (for billions of searches, that adds up quickly). According to the Aberdeen Group, a one-second delay in performance drops page views by 11% [PDF]. After car review website Edmunds partnered with Google for fast load times, they saw an increase in ad revenue.
Google is, of course, also happy to remind potential customers that their coveted Page Rank system favors websites with faster load times, which might be a selling point to websites that see substantial traffic from Google servers.
For the web-curious, Google has set up a testing site that shows how much faster their site could be with Page Speed. According to webpagetest.org, CNN.com would see an 8.6% percent increase (.36 seconds), and Whitehouse.gov would get a 34% boost (or 4.4 seconds). Google’s own tests show around a 25-60% increase for websites.
Currently, Google’s Page Speed Service is only available to a limited number of webmasters free of charge, and will open to the public for a “competitive” pricing model “later.”