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Slow website? Google Chrome will make sure everyone knows it.

Google is considering slapping slow-loading websites with a speed warning badge in Chrome.

Published onNovember 12, 2019

Google Chrome app on a Pixel 2

After cracking down on invasive ads in its Chrome browser, Google now wants to tackle the scourge of slow-loading websites by slapping them with a speed warning badge.

The search giant has revealed it is testing a “speed badging” feature for Chrome. The badge would be shown when visiting websites to inform netizens which sites load quickly and warn them which sites take ages to load.

In a Chromium blog post (via Android Police), Google laid out some early examples of how the badging system could work. One example shows a loading message on the splash screen with a warning that the page “usually loads slow.”

google chrome speed badging

Another option shown for a faster loading website — one of Google’s own, of course — recolors the loading progress bar green to show you’re visiting a historically speedy site. Google says these are just a few possibilities and that there could also be a specific context menu for links baked into Chrome that displays typical site speeds before you even click a link.

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The blog doesn’t go into too much detail about the criteria for receiving a badge of honor/shame, but it does note that they would be based on historical load latencies. It also suggests that any initial rollout would be gradual to allow websites to get up to speed (literally), but that stricter measures would be put in place over time.

While the post doesn’t commit to any rollout of the speed badging feature, Google is already looking at making it even more useful in the long-term. One idea is making the speed ratings variable depending on the state of the user’s device and network.

Google also hints that it could eventually push badging beyond a means of just showing a site’s average load speeds and instead highlight the best websites based on other, undetermined factors too.

Would you like to see a speed badging system added to Chrome? Let us know in the comments.

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