Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

The Scarlet Label

We all know that web site performance is important for companies especially if they operate an e-comm platform to serve consumers. For the end users, a slow site is simply annoying and a major reason to browse elsewhere; there goes the revenue stream.
Organizations have been optimizing their sites' performance with the help of solutions such as our own Ion, but until this week, slow sites were not exposed to the world. Well, at least not to the consumers via a global channel such as Google. There have been performance indexes for years, but they mostly focus on the fastest sites.

It seems like this is about to change: On February 25th, news articles appeared online that some Google users noticed a little red icon with the word "SLOW" next to some of their search results. While the details are scarce, it is believed that Google is experimenting with a new category; currently it is only visible to some mobile device users on Android.

But the big question is why is this important if at all? If Google begins to apply this label to search engine results on a global scale across platforms, then the slowest sites will be exposed by an unprecedented scale. It is almost like a list of shame; no one would want to be caught with the scarlet label especially by their own customers and prospects. Welcome to the new world of web performance, it is not acceptable to be slow anymore...