Chrome for Android will now label ‘fast pages’ and may eventually rank them higher in search

By | August 17, 2020

Chrome for Android will start adding “fast-page” labels to the context menus of high-quality pages it considers, Google announced Monday. The company says the labels will be based on signals from their Core Web Vitals metrics, which keep track of user experience, including page load time, responsiveness, and how stable content is while loading.

Right now, there’s only one way to say: if you long-press a link before visiting a page, if it meets Google’s standards, you’ll get that “fast page” label.

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But ultimately, in Google search too, a “fast page” might be ranked higher. Google tells The Verge that the same Web Vitals core metrics are among the criteria that will be considered when launching the labels in search rankings.

In the blog post announcing the labels, Google says that “optimizing for the core Web Vitals may require some investment to improve page quality,” suggesting developers might want to pay attention if they want to stay on top of Google’s search. The organization says that it has revised its developer software with suggestions about how to achieve the quality targets on those websites. Google also has its AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) format, which it previously introduced to make the mobile web quicker, although this could be another way to accomplish the same goal.

Search revenue is a big moneymaker for Google’s parent company Alphabet; despite a year-over-year dip in revenue, search brought in $21.3 billion of its $38.3 billion in revenue in the second quarter of 2020.

These “fast page” labels will be included in the beta version of Chrome 85, but Google has instructions on how to enable the feature if devs want to see it in action before then.

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