sGoogle has poured out the effort to make Chrome on Android a faster, more convenient browser and now it wants to help users find the best websites to take advantage of that while avoiding those that are slow. More directly, it’s going to start showing users if the site they want to visit consistently puts others to shame. That’s with the end goal of highlighting sites that are quantifiable better, according to a new blog post from the company.
The change is first appearing as a flag experiment at the chrome://flags URL.
How does Chrome decide if websites are or aren’t slow to assign the label?
As memory- and resource-intensive as Chrome sometimes is — on or off Android — sometimes its websites and not the browser that makes things run slow.
To determine whether or not to apply the label, Google is sticking to Core Web Vitals. And it’s applying those standards to URLs or similar URLs across a website that have been ‘historically’ fast for users. The separation of sites is determined by the URL structure. So sites that have been both consistent and fast should make the cut.
But, in terms of the exact metrics that are being looked at, the measurement will be multifaceted. It takes into account web usability as a whole. So it looks at responsiveness and loading time. But it also examines the stability of the content during loading. All of that is based on defined thresholds aimed at setting a standard for what a “good” experience is.
You won’t even notice the change unless you look for it
Detailing the alteration reveals that this is a somewhat minor UI change. In fact, most users likely won’t even see the change. But for those power-users who want to see if their favorite site is faster than most, it’s not too difficult to find.
That’s because Google is tucking the highlight behind the long-press UI in Chrome for Android. It’ll only be seen there when users long-press a link. For clarity, that’s the card-like menu that appears when a link is tapped and held. It showcases options like opening a page in a new tab or copying the link text or URL. So only users that are long-pressing links are likely to see the label.
The label itself will appear just below the URL on that menu. And it’ll simply read “Fast page” if a website has consistently loaded up with a better experience than others. Otherwise, there will be no label assigned. Although Google could potentially add a different label for sites that load slower than others. Or that offer a poorer experience.
Regardless, the change will maintain any changes in Core Web Vitals “as they evolve. So a slow page today may not be tomorrow. And the same goes for fast pages. But the standards will, at least, remain stable and consistent.