Google Helps Sites Get Faster with Page Speed Tools.
Google has made it a point to let webmasters know that page loading speed is becoming an important factor in how pages are ranked in Google search. In a blog entry on Google Webmaster Central they provided examples of sites who are getting a 25% to 60% performance boost by using Google products to improve speed. Along with reminding us about Google’s page speed tools there was an announcement about a new Google service called Page Speed Service. More on this new service later.
Page Speed Browser Extension/Plugin
The Google Page Speed browser extension used to be available only to FireFox but it’s now available for Google Chrome browsers. When you run this add-on on your website pages you get a report on load times for different aspects of your page, such as image download time, script downloads etc. The report also gives you suggestions on how you can improve performance by implementing tweaks to your server and individual pages.
Google’s mod_pagespeed Apache Module.
Webmasters who have access to their web server can also take advantage of Google’s mod_pagespeed Apache module. I’ve known about this module for some time but I’ve been hesitant to implement the module on my own server since it falls outside the box of modules available to me through automatic installation in my server setup. If you are confident with your skills on Apache Server then I would encourage you to try out the module for yourself as it does have great benefits.
New Google Page Speed Service
Along with reminding us of the existing Google page speed tools currently available, Google has announced a new Page Speed Service which is available for a limited time free of charge. There weren’t a lot of details on the service offered on Google’s blog post but it certainly can’t hurt to sign up for the free page speed service. The Google blog post does mention that they are only offering page speed service for a limited time and it will be a paid service in the near future so get in while you can!