Google know that what users want from a search engine is convenience. They want to be presented with the exact information they’re looking for, and they want to access it as quickly as possible. The internet giant’s focus is currently on the latter part of that equation, as they launch changes to improve the loading speed of their mobile site.
Google want their search results to load quickly for users on any internet connection, even a really slow one. Therefore, they are enabling what is known as Google Lite, a simplified version of the search results page that will load faster for users on slow connections. This makes the experience of using Google Search smoother, more rewarding and less frustrating.
There are several differences between the search results seen on Google Lite compared to a standard Google Search page. For example, if you search for a place name, you’d normally see an image of the place and a map, and the option to select functions that take you to another app outside of the browser, such as Google Maps. None of this is present in Google Lite. Instead, text is smaller and more information is squeezed onto the screen, with less space used for Google ads. These changes all make the page load more quickly.
Google are also testing a more controversial change, which involves extending their mobile optimisation not only to their own web pages, but the pages their search results link to. Users with slow connections in Indonesia are presented with scaled down versions of the sites they are accessing via Google mobile search. Some website owners may not be pleased about Google taking the liberty to choose how their sites are presented to visitors, but Google say the results so far have been positive, with a 50% increase in traffic to the optimised pages.
As they face competition from search engines such as Bing and Yahoo, Google are continuing to innovate in order to ensure their search functionality is tailored to all users’ needs, no matter what level of technology they have access to.