Chrome is famous for encouraging the adoption of best practices in web development. Remember the introduction of the HTTP insecure sign on all devices. Google now introduced fast badge labelling in Chrome 85 beta.
What does that mean?
Google is making another attempt to motivate site owners and developers to improve the user experience with indicators. Google will start labelling sites to help users identify great experiences on the web. They do this by labelling links to fast sites via the link context menu (Press and hold a link on your mobile device in Chrome to open the link context menu).
What is fast for Chrome and how do they collect the data?
In this year, Google introduced the Core Web Vitals. I wrote a blog post about the initiative and how you can measure them on your site. Core Web Vitals are a subset of performance metrics that help to understand the performance of your website.
These metrics apply to all websites, should be measured and are implemented in all standard performance tools like Page Speed Insights, Google Search Console, Lighthouse, etc.
As Google defined the Core Web Vitals as their current standard metrics to measure the health of a website, it’s not surprising that they are also used as criteria for the fast badge.
Google is collecting real user data directly from Chrome users. This data is publicly available in the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX). Additionally, the results are included in other Google products like the Google Search Console.
Does fast badge labelling affect the search rankings?
Google didn’t announce it that the badge will be a search signal directly. BUT! They recently announced that the Core Web Vitals will be a search signal for the rankings. Therefor indirectly, the fast badge is a sign for a better search ranking.
Where can you find the badge?
Badging will be found in many places to tell the user that the site is usually fast or slow. The Chrome team will consider numerous surfaces, including the loading screen (splash screen), the loading bar and the context menus for links. Probably they will especially show it in lite mode.
Currently, the badge is available in Chrome 85 beta on Andriod in the context menu for links. You can enable it by downloading Version 85 beta from the Google Play store, open Chrome and navigating to
chrome://flags to enable “Context menu performance info and remote hint fetching”. Chrome now needs a re-start before the changes take effect.
In this post, you read about the attempt of fast badge labelling from Google.
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