Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Google Web Accelerator

The Google Labs released the free Web Accelerator, a Beta software package intended to speed up your web browsing. To do that, Google acts as a giant proxy, storing parts of the web on their machines for quicker access. It also manages to download only the changes of a web page if you viewed it before. Last not least, Google uses prefetching technology to download results – like pages linked in a search result – even before you click on them (Google recently experimented with this feature in Firefox).

At the moment, Google says their Accelerator works best in North America and Europe, and does not bring much improvement on dial-up connections. The Google Web Accelerator also ignores HTTPS (secured) connections.

Prefetching for webmasters

Webmasters who like to make good use of the Accelerator's prefetching capabilities may include the following HTML snippet anywhere in the document. It will reference the page which hasn't been clicked on yet, allowing Google to download it for faster access once the user decides to click on it.

<link rel="prefetch"

Does it make a difference?

So how much faster will web browsing get for you? Google keeps track of this for you so you know exactly how many seconds you saved. They managed to seamlessly integrate an infobar into the upper right of Firefox.

Of course, you need to trust Google Inc to get these numbers right in the first place. I surfed around a bit on this blog, the Google search results, and, and already saved 1.3 seconds in the first minute. While this may not sound like much, if you're in need for some extra speed and every second counts (and caching and privacy issues don't scare you), you may want to give the Google Accelerator a try. It certainly looks like the next step towards the Google Web OS.

[Thanks Gary Price, Pierre in the forum, and Affan Q.]


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!