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Chrome could soon tag and shame slow-loading websites

Google Chrome
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google Chrome could soon apply badges to websites that load particularly slowly to encourage their owners to make some changes and speed things up.

In a blog post, developers Addy Osmani, Ben Greenstein and Bryan McQuade from the Chrome team explain that they believe "the web can do better", and explain how a label system might work.

"In the future, Chrome may identify sites that typically load fast or slow for users with clear badging," the developers say. "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."

The browser will look for sites that are built in a way that makes them particularly sluggish using historical data, and in the future it may also factor in the predicted load time based on the device and network conditions – so pages that aren't optimized for mobile devices might be tagged, for example.

Not so fast?

The 'badging' could take various forms, including a warning on a splash screen that appears while a slow page is loading, a green progress bar for speedier sites, and information in a context menu that appears when you right-click.

If you own a site that's tagged and shamed, Google will advise you to use PageSpeed Insights to check out its performance, then use open source tool Lighthouse to run an audit and identify ways to speed things up.

"We are excited to reward you for your work and give our users more transparency into typical site performance," say Osmani, Greenstein and McQuade. "We hope this effort will encourage more sites on the open web to provide the best possible experiences to all users."

Via TechCrunch