Announcing Google’s New Page Speed Service

Google’s new page speed service is a pay to use tool that will help webmasters automatically optimise pages and help websites load faster.

Google’s page speed service isn’t the only product on the market; Cloudflare and Incapsula provide a similar service.  But Google’s new presence does reflect the need for speed, demanded by users worldwide. 

The internet and its users have evolved so much that who really is now willing to sit and wait for a site to load?  There is far too much competition out there for websites to risk losing visitors in this way.

How does Google increase web page speed?

There are two real aspects to the service.  The first is the optimisation tool, and the second is focused on CDN (content distribution network).  Basically, Google’s page speed service grabs content from your servers, rewrites your pages using web performance best practice and then reserves the data via its worldwide server network, straight to the end user.

And as for the end result?  Well, that very much depends on a number of factors…

How good is page speed service?

Why not try it for yourself.  Google have set up a page where you can measure the speed and track the improvements.  But factors such as your website content and even your location and bandwidth can affect the results.

On average, the Google Code blog reports that pages “served” from page speed service have improved significantly, some opening up to sixty percent faster.

Are there any downsides to Google page speed?

We must bear in mind that the page speed service is in its infancy, but there are still a few teething problems that should be mentioned.  The following aspects are not supported by Google’s page speed service:

  • HTTPS pages, Flash, streamed audio, streamed video and files over 50MB
  • Domains which drop the “www” will not be supported.  You must have a www.domain.com address to see any benefit.
  • POST requests larger than 2MB
  • Domains hosted on Blogger, Google Sites or Google App Engine, are strangely, not supported.

There are a few other issues which have been flagged up out-with those mentioned above.

Security is a recurring theme with many interested parties keen to understand Google’s policy on handling such a mass of private data; an issue which Google will need to address in order to allay unease.  A second concern centres around the potentially negative impact on your rankings from an SEO perspective; an issue which, if proven to be true will gain Google deep criticism.

Whether all of these problems will come to fruition or get ironed out before the main launch we’ll have to wait and see.

How do I use Google’s page speed service?

At the moment, Page Speed Service is only available to a limited number of webmasters.  Although no mention of pricing as yet, the word from Google is that the page speed service will be “competitive”.

The sign up process itself looks simple enough.  Just fill in the form, point your DNS CNAME entry to Google’s servers and the rest will be taken care of.

Overall, page speed service is another exciting tool from Google.  It looks likely to provide stiff competition to the existing market and will likely be extremely popular with small businesses looking to get ahead in the page speed game.

It would be great to get your opinions in the comments below.