Hey! You know how when you click on a link for something you just googled your browser first connects to Google to let Google hack your webcam and know what you clicked, and then Google finally bounces you along your way to your destination? That’s always been an irritant to me – not the privacy stuff as I love helping Google help me but the delay of having to connect to one server to hand over data and receive instructions before I’m able to connect to my intended target. I feel it. It stings something fierce, especially on mobile.

Well my brothers the end of those days is upon us as Ilya Grigorik and his colleagues at Google, in their never ending bid to make the web faster, came up with a way to track your click on a SERP without the delay by means of adding an asynchronous call to the tracker by modifying the HTML to include a “ping” element on the HREF tags like so:

To try to conceptualize that for you, as a result of this tweak, your browser goes to the site you wanted and tells Google your bra size simultaneously, rather than handing over your cup size first and, subsequently, making a handshake with another server, receiving and processing the the redirect. Pretty clever. They claim it shaves damn near 400ms off the time to load a site you googled which is truly helpful to everyone, especially web designers trying to shave down their bounce rates. Currently this has been rolled out just for mobile Chrome and mobile Safari, though, if they don’t lose any tracking information with this trick, I don’t see why it wouldn’t spread to all platforms soon.

Yes, this is one of those things that is probably only exciting in my mind, not yours. I’m working on finding a middle ground there.

Doug Simmons

4 COMMENTS

  1. This is really cool stuff Doug. I think tech’s and web dev’s would appreciate this the most, 400ms is a huge savings.

  2. I absolutely appreciate this — the longer your site takes to load beyond one second, the more and more (exponentially) likely your visitors are to bail out and, over time if you have a slow site, that can cause permanent damage. Since a large segment of most sites’ beginning pageview of a given visit comes from a Google click, the clock of impatience starts on that click, so this ~400ms does indeed benefit us and most others like us. Though for now it’s just mobile.

  3. I love trying to understand what the hell it is you are trying to say.
    Do I read between the lines, or am I putting too much thought in to it?

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