Google's Page Speed Service works like a Web hosting service, fetching content from publishers' servers, tweaking the pages and serving the content from its own servers.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) July 28
moved to extend its sphere of influence by offering Websites the opportunity to
accelerate the loading of their Web pages by 25 percent to 60 percent.
Web page loading speed is a
huge deal for publishers because their visitors won't stick around if a Website
stutters while rendering content. However, some industry watchers believe this
new Page Speed Service is geared to give Google more control over Websites.
Here's how Page Speed
Service works. Publishers will sign in and point their Website's DNS (domain
name system) entry to Google. Page Speed Service pulls content from publishers'
servers, rewrites the pages to make them faster and serves them to users via
"Your users will
continue to access your site just as they did before, only with faster load
Ram Ramani, a Google engineering manager
. Ramani added that publishers
don't have to worry about compressing images, caching and other tedious Website
He also said Google tests
revealed on several Websites boosted site speeds by 25 percent to 60 percent.
Some industry watchers were
suspicious of Google's bid to circumvent publishers' servers by using their
own, noting that it puts Google in the Web host or content delivery network
category reserved for companies such as Akamai.
Engine Watch blogger Thom Craver said
Google is actually offering
"tricked out hosting, not a page optimizer."
"You have to set your
DNS to point to Google instead of your current Web host," Craver wrote.
"This means when someone types in your Website, Google's servers will
answer, not yours."
He wonders whether
publishers will trust Google with the delivery of their Website content.
However, Google assured eWEEK
statement that this is not the case: "We don't use the information
collected from serving these Websites toward improving search results or
targeting advertising to users. We may, however, use the information collected
to improve the quality of Page Speed Service itself, including making pages
serve even faster."
Meanwhile, Google is only
offering Page Speed Service to a limited set of Webmasters for free, though publishers
can request access to the service here
. Pricing, which will be
"competitive," will be detailed later.
The Page Speed Service is part of Google's ongoing "Make the
Web Faster" campaign, and follows its Page Speed browser extension and
Page Speed Online API, launched earlier this year.
The new service also follows
own free DNS service
SPDY protocol, an open-source, protocol for transporting Web content
reducing the latency of Web pages loading.