Google is obsessed with speed, this is pretty much a given and the company is the first to admit it. It spends plenty of time optimizing its websites and services, but it's also working on speeding up the web in general.
Now, it's launching a new feature for its search engine which loads the websites in the results that the user is most likely to go to in the background, as long as you're using Google Chrome.
"With Instant Pages in Chrome, you can skip the extra seconds waiting for a page to load and get to the answers you’re looking for faster with webpages that load instantly," Google explained.
"For searches when we can predict with reasonable confidence that you’ll click on the first result, Instant Pages technology will begin loading that webpage early so that by the time you click on the result, the entire webpage appears fully loaded instantly," it added.
Basically, if Google is pretty sure you're going to click on the first result in a search, it will tell Chrome to start loading that web page immediately.
By the time you realize that this was indeed the page you wanted and click on the result, the page may have already loaded in the background, meaning that it will be displayed instantly.
For the user, the process is seamless but the effects are visible, when everything falls into place, pages you go to from Google Search will load significantly faster.
Since this relies on a bit of guess work from Google, the feature doesn't trigger unless the search engine is very confident in its prediction of what you're going to click.
This is because, if the user doesn't click on the page Google thinks it will, it creates an unnecessary for websites which have to pay for the extra traffic without any benefits, since the user didn't actually visit the site.
Instant Pages only works in the dev channel version of Google Chrome 13, which will be graduating to the beta channel this week, for now, so there is still time for Google to tweak the feature and for webmasters to provide feedback.