Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 3:00 PMWebmaster level: All
At Google we're obsessed with speed. We've long known that even seemingly minor speed increases can have surprisingly large impacts on user engagement and happiness. About a year ago we rolled out Instant Pages in pursuit of that goal. Instant Pages makes use of prerendering technology in Chrome to make your site appear to load instantly in some cases, with no need for any extra work on your part. Here's a video of it in action:
We've been closely watching performance and listening to webmaster feedback. Since Instant Pages rolled out we've saved more than a thousand years of ours users' time. We're very happy with the results so far, and we'll be gradually increasing how often we trigger the feature.
In the vast majority of cases, webmasters don't have to do anything for their sites to work correctly with prerendering. As we mentioned in our initial announcement of Instant Pages, search traffic will be measured in Webmaster Tools just like before this feature: only results the user visits will be counted. If your site keeps track of pageviews on its own, you might be interested in the Page Visibility API, which allows you to detect when prerendering is occurring and factor those out of your statistics. If you use an ads or analytics package, check with them to see if their solution is already prerender-aware; if it is, in many cases you won't need to make any changes at all. If you're interested in triggering Chrome's prerendering within your own site, see the Prerendering in Chrome article.
Instant Pages means that users arrive at your site happier and more engaged, which is great for everyone.