Google just hit yet another milestone in its three-year mission to make the Web faster.It is now the proud owner of the world’s biggest public domain name server (DNS), handling an average of more than 70 billion requests a day, it says.
DNS is the thing that translates the words you type into your browser into the Web page you get.
The company has been making serious progress on all fronts to make the Internet so fast that it appears to respond instantaneously, Google’s Arvind Jain told Business Insider. He’s the engineering director for Google’s “Make the Web Faster” initiative.
“What we’re trying to do is make the Internet fast in general — not just make Google search fast. Our goal is very ambitious. We want the Internet to be instantaneous … so you never have to wait. But that’s not a whole lot to ask for. Other forms of media are like that, such as TV channels,” he said.
Jain says that today, the average Web page takes three to five seconds to load. He’s trying to make everything on the Internet react in 100 milliseconds. That’s 2 to 4 times faster than it takes to blink.
The mission encompasses a lot of Google projects because Jain’s team is working on every area that slows down web pages. This includes the browser, the way Web pages are built, the protocols that tell the browser what to do, the protocols that govern how fast data travels on the Internet, the design of the physical network itself.
Here’s a rundown on all of Google’s projects to build an instant Internet:
- Google’s Web browser Chrome. It’s fast. It’s popular. Enough said.
- Construction has begun on Google’s fibre experiment to bring the fastest Internet network to Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.
- Google’s experimental method for making the Internet talk faster, a protocol called SPDY, has now grown popular enough that the Internet Engineering Task Force will consider accepting it as a standard for the whole world, says Jain. That’s progress. It is extremely hard to get the IETF to consider a protocol that affects the basic way the Internet works.
- Google offers a free service for Web developers called Google Page Speed. It gives suggestions on how developers can change their pages to make them faster.
- Google now also has a free service called Page Speed Service that does the fixes for Web sites. Companies can download it, install it on their servers ,and get some of the same technologies that Google uses, such as pre-loading pages from links that users are likely to click on.
Google isn’t just doing this for altruistic reasons. Slow Internet performance turns people off — for instance, a 400 millisecond drop in Google’s search performance means a drop of 0.44% in traffic, and 80% of people will click away from a video if it stalls when loading, according to Google engineer Urs Holzle.
The faster the Internet performs, the more time people will spend on the Web (as opposed to, say, using an app on a smartphone), which means they’re more likely to conduct a Google search or stumble across a Google ad on another site.