Google unrolling new feature in India to load page four times faster and consume 80% less data

At the moment, India’s internet data coverage cannot be regarded as advanced, as a major part of the population today still depends on 2G networks in this age of 4G speeds. Having recognized it, Google India has thought of a way to provide faster and lighter web pages that would go well with the slow internet speeds in the country.

On Thursday, Google announced a feature that would allow people on slower data connections, such as 2G, to quickly load webpages on their mobile phones at cheap data costs.

The feature, aimed at emerging markets, will be rolled out in India in the next two weeks. However, this would be applicable only if you are using Google Search on an Android phone through its own app, the Chrome app or the now rare Android browser.

Hiroto Tokusei, Search Product Manager, Google Inc. in a telephonic interview said “The new feature will come into play whenever a mobile user is access search results from a very slow network. Google will capture the page and make it lighter.”

The search giant has already tested the feature in Indonesia, which has networks very similar to India. It has come up with promising results. Google says that with this feature, the pages will load four times faster but consume 80 per cent less data. Well, this comes as a great news for consumers but certainly as a bad news for mobile operators.

“The users will not need to install an additional browser. The feature is triggered automatically when the user is on a slower network connection. Of course, they will be able to choose if they want to see the original page,” Mr. Tokusei said.

This optimization will however work only on 80 per cent of the websites. Websites such as YouTube and those requiring login (for instance, Facebook) will not be optimized.

According to Google, the publishers would benefit as they will get a 50 per cent jump in pageviews. However, these pages till now does not have Google Analytics that is used for tracking pageviews. Tokusei said they are working on putting analytics into effect and some of the ad networks are already working on these pages.

“Monetisation won’t be affected for publishers. There is an opt out option for the users as well as publishers,” he said. “The feature is good for publishers as it will extend their reach,” he added.

The important thing for Google is the fact that the traffic to its web pages increased by more than fifty percent during the tests. It has disclosed that the users will be given the choice of viewing the original page if they wish to. This alternative will be available somewhere at the top of the pages.

A lot of users on slow networks in markets like India already use the Opera Mini browser, which loads pages much faster and consumes lesser data.

With the announcement of this new feature from Google, users of 2G network will have a lot to smile about within the next two weeks, given Google’s optimization of its search results for slow-speed internet data.


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