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Google’s Gospel of Speed: “We Don’t Plan on Stopping Until the Web is Instant”

Google loves speed. From Instant Search to SPDY, its nascent replacement for the ubiquitous TCP protocol, quite a bit of what the company does these days has to do with speed. Google does this for good reasons. As Urs Hoelzle, the senior VP for infrastructure at Google notes in the latest edition of the company's decidedly slow quarterly magazine "Think Quarterly," just a 400ms delay in delivering search results leads to a 0.44% drop in search volume. The average web page today takes 4.9 seconds to load according to Hoelzle – that's a lot of time for people to move on before the page has ever loaded. For Google's engineers, then, the "Gospel of Speed" is supported by one simple rule: never to launch a feature that slows things down.

The latest beta version of Chrome now features pre-rendering of some web pages while you type the URL, for example. As Hoelzle rightly notes, all of Google's efforts won't matter much, after all, if you are taken right back into the "slow lane" when you click on a link on a search results page.

Google's final goal, according to Hoelzle: "We don’t plan on stopping until the web is instant, so that when you click on a link the site loads immediately, and when you play a video it starts without delay."

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