Google wants to speed up the web with its new Page Speed Service, which joins its predecessors the Page Speed browser extension and the Page Speed Online API. The company claims in a blog post that the new service can speed up site downloads by anything up to 60 per cent, and suggests you check out the numbers for yourself. (Warning: there's a bit of a queue for the comparison engine, to say the least.)
The blog post explains that the service works by you pointing your site's DNS entry to Google. It then grabs content, rewrites your pages "by applying web performance best practices" and then flings the result at users via Google's servers. The post states: "Your users will continue to access your site just as they did before, only with faster load times. Now you don’t have to worry about concatenating CSS, compressing images, caching, gzipping resources or other web performance best practices."
Results so far seem varied, with some users backing Google's claims and others saying Google's 'optimised' version is significantly slower than the existing website. In part, this appears to be down to whether a site is well-optimised already. There are also concerns about Google offering a streamlining service that will eventually cost money (Google says pricing "will be competitive") while simultaneously stating that faster sites will rank higher in search results. And, of course, there's the fact that Google will suddenly have more access to unencrypted user interactions on your site, providing it with yet more information that it can use to bolster its advertising business.