Google Chrome could start shaming slow websites

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Chrome dark mode Mac
Speedy sites will get a "reward."
Photo: Cult of Mac

Google Chrome may soon start giving slow websites a badge of shame.

The move, which will also “reward” sites that load quickly, is aimed at encouraging developers to deliver a high-quality experience for all users, Google says.

Google says it built Chrome with speed at its core from the very beginning. And yet, we often run into sites that take an age to load even over beefy broadband connections.

In future updates, Chrome will make it easier to identify those sites.

Chrome’s badge of shame for slowpokes

Google may start by introducing badges that shame slow sites and “reward” speedy ones. The badges “may take a number of forms,” the company says. “We plan to experiment with different options.”

Chrome may use splash screens that warn users the site they’re visiting is slow. It could also employ loading progress bars of different colors to distinguish between slow and snappy sites.

Later on, Chrome may be able to tell you whether it’s your device or connection speed that is causing longer load times.

“Our plan to identify sites that are fast or slow will take place in gradual steps, based on increasingly stringent criteria,” Google explains. “Our long-term goal is to define badging for high-quality experiences, which may include signals beyond just speed.”

‘The best possible experiences’

Google is working with other teams to decide how “speed badging” should work. And it insists it is being mindful with its approach toward determining what is considered a good user experience.

Updates to the plan will be made clear to Chrome users and web developers going forward. The latter can see Google’s guides to speeding up their sites.

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