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This is how Google Chrome will shame slow websites

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google is not having it any more with websites that load slow and it is determined to eliminate them from the face of the Earth. Good riddance, I say!

The move was announced yesterday in this post published in the blog dedicated to Chromium, the Google-sponsored open source web browsing engine that powers Chrome and the new Microsoft Edge. “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,” the post says.

Towards that goal, Chrome will flag slow and fast sites with some sort of badge. Right now, the team says it is experimenting “to determine which provides the most value to our users.”

On the left, a loading screen for a slow site. On the right, a green bar for a fast site.

On the left, a loading screen for a slow site. On the right, a green bar for a fast site. (Image credit: Chromium)

Web pages can load slowly for many reasons, from poor coding to an overload of resources and advertisement. Many times, more than half of the code in a page is dedicated to resource-heavy ads.

I particularly like the idea of having a loading screen that shows an icon of the site and a loading progress bar. It’s a delicious way to 1) convey the information to the user, who will get even more annoyed by the slowness of the site, 2) warn users that the site experience will likely suck and 3) deprive the site from a pageview and punish it. 

Another idea is to just color the loading bar, making it green for speedy sites and red for crapslow ones. This is surprising because I would have imagined that, for Google, a fast site would be one that wouldn’t show a loading progress bar at all. At least that’s what I want.

Whatever the final user interface elements are, the Chromium team is planning to deploy it gradually — and then go beyond the speed: “Our plan to identify sites that are fast or slow will take place in gradual steps, based on increasingly stringent criteria,” the blog post says. Their long-term goal is to “define badging for high-quality experiences, which may include signals beyond just speed.”

It’s a great measure that we can only hope every browser adopts.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.