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Web page statistics from Google

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Friday July 16, 2010 )

Google recently released some statistics about the size, number of resources and other web page metrics based on a study of 4.2 billion pages.

Google found that the average page size; including images, scripts, HTTP headers etc was a whopping 320 kilobytes. Back in the days of 28.8k modems, which really wasn’t all that long ago, today’s average page (based on Google’s statistics) would have taken nearly 2 minutes to load.

The study also found 29.39 unique images are being used on average per page, 7.09 external scripts and 3.22 external stylesheets.

Google says only two-thirds of the compressible material on a page is actually compressed and in 80% of pages, 10 or more resources are loaded from a single host. 8 HTTP requests per page could be eliminated if all scripts on the same host were combined into one and all stylesheets on the same host also combined.

It’s another subtle hint from Google that the company would like to see leaner pages – it’s good for users as download times are faster and it’s good for Google as fewer resources are needed to spider a page. When you think about all the pages that Google indexes, code bloat and other issues probably amount to a bunch of extra hardware required and massive amounts of electricity consumption. For companies with very popular sites, clean pages can also dramatically drop bandwidth requirements.

Google stated in April that site speed is now a ranking factor and quick loading pages may get a bit of an edge in search engine results, particularly if the only thing separating two sites is one being lean and the other suffering from bloat to the point that page load times are severely affected.

You can read more of Google’s web page statistics here and pick up some tips for optimizing page load times here.


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