It is no secret that Google has been focusing on and prioritizing the loading speed of websites. Apart from presenting relevant search engine results to online searchers, it is also equally crucial for Google as a search engine to present websites that offer a good user experience.
Slow-loading websites that take forever to load does not provide a good user experience.
To further force website owners, developers, and SEOs to improve the loading speed of their websites, Google Chrome may soon put “a badge of shame” for websites that load slowly in Google Chrome.
According to a blog post by the Google Chrome team, “[In the future], Chrome may identify sites that typically load fast or slow for users with clear badging. This may take a number of forms, and we plan to experiment with different options to determine which provides the most value to our users.”
At the moment, the exact method has not been identified, but Google indicated that it might be in the form of a splash screen.
Take a look at the following example.
Apart from the unmissable badge on the splash screen, Google Chrome may also identify slow- and fast-loading websites with a progress bar on the top.
As you can notice, the blue progress bar just under the URL will indicate a slow-loading website, while a green progress bar will indicate a fast-loading website.
With these techniques, Google wants its users to be aware of websites that might take a few more seconds to load and not offer the best user experience available out there. At the same time, it is also about penalizing slow-loading websites and rewarding websites that load quickly.
According to the announcement blog post, “We think the web can do better and want to help users understand when a site may load slowly, while rewarding sites delivering fast experiences.”
As we mentioned earlier, Google hasn’t yet decided what form it will take. But it is pretty much confirmed that Google is looking into some form of “badging” to differentiate websites on opposite spectrums of user experience and loading speeds.
Google also mentioned in the announcement blog post that its “long-term goal is to define badging for high-quality experiences, which may include signals beyond just speed.”
For website owners, it is another reminder of the importance of a fast-loading website. Use our free guide on website speed optimisation to make sure your site is loading as fast as possible.
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