Speed is a relative term. Someone surfing the Web on a high-speed Internet connection might think the interaction is fast, but it’s probably not as speedy as, say, flipping through pages in a magazine.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), which has long said it’s made speed a top requirement in the design of all its services, thinks it can help the Web go faster. The search giant released a series of best practices this week and a new Web site, code.google.com/speed, focused on the issues of speed and performance in Web site design.
One specific targeted contribution Google is making to the effort is PageSpeed, an open-source, Firefox/Firebug add-on it says will help Webmasters and Web developers evaluate the performance of their Web pages and get suggestions on how to improve them.
Google also noted Yahoo has a similar Web page analysis tool called YSlow.
“I think we’re just at the beginning of how fast we can make the Web,” Google’s vice president of engineering, Vic Gundotra, said in a video blog post. “It’s hard for us to imagine the improvements that we’ve made in just in the past 15 years if you think about how slow the Web was when we initially started to how far we’ve come
But as big and influential as Google is, senior vice presdident of engineering Bill Coughran said making the entire Web faster is a big challenge. He noted Google “cannot move the entire Internet on its own.”
Google said it plans to work with standards bodies, developers and other groups to figure out ways to maximum performance.
“If we could come up with changes, enhancements or even alternatives to TCP/IP or HTTP, that might have a significant impact,” said Google performance evangelist Steve Souders.