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July 28, 2011

Google Intros Automated Service to Increase Web Page Speeds

By Beecher Tuttle, TMCnet Contributor

Google's (News - Alert) distaste with slow-loading Web pages has inspired the company to roll out a number of initiatives over the years, including its Page Speed browser extension and Page Speed API, which gives developers suggestions for how to rework their web pages to make them faster.

The search engine giant took their obsession with Web performance a step further on Thursday by introducing a new service that automatically evaluates pages, rewrites their code to conform to best practices and delivers content to end-users via Google's own servers.

All webmasters need to do to leverage the Page Speed Service is to sign up, create a new DNS entry and point it to Google. The service will take care of the rest – all without the need to install additional software or rewrite the code manually.

“Now you don’t have to worry about concatenating CSS (News - Alert), compressing images, caching, gzipping resources or other web performance best practices,” Google engineering manager Ram Ramani wrote in a blog post.

In initial tests, Google's new service increased Web page speeds by as much as 60 percent. Webmasters who want to see what the service can do for them before making the plunge can use Google's testing program, which shows how much load time the service can shave off.

The product is still in beta, but Google is accepting a limited number of websites to try it out for free. However, Webmasters will need to pay a fee once the service officially rolls out. Google has yet to provide an expected launch date or a cost range for the service, other than saying pricing will be “competitive.”

Click here to learn more about the service or to request access to the beta program.

Depending upon the price, Google's new offering should become fairly popular. Faster Web pages not only encourage users to come back, they also move sites higher up on Google's search rankings.

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Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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