Google SPDY Accelerates Mobile Web - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

02:31 PM
Connect Directly

Google SPDY Accelerates Mobile Web

Google engineers showed an average 23% improvement in page load time on mobile websites using Google's SPDY protocol. SPDY doesn't replace HTTP, but improves upon aspects of it.

In its ongoing quest for speed--essential to make Web apps competitive with native apps--Google has demonstrated that mobile Web pages can be loaded much faster using an experimental protocol its engineers helped develop.

Using the SPDY protocol and a Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone running SPDY-enabled mobile browser Chrome for Android, Google tested 77 Web pages across 31 domains. The results were promising.

"The net result is that using SPDY results in a mean page load time improvement of 23% across these sites, compared to HTTP," explained Google engineers Matt Welsh, Ben Greenstein, and Michael Piatek in an online post.

The trio recommends that website operators "should consider using SPDY to speed up access to their sites from mobile devices."

[ Learn more about Google's contested Street View data collection methods. See Google Wardriving: How Engineering Trumped Privacy. ]

Improving Web page responsiveness is widely known to have a positive effect on page visitor metrics and e-commerce. And speed is probably even more important when users are on mobile devices, where real-world events and interactions compete for user attention.

First published in draft form in November 2009, SPDY is designed to transport Web content more efficiently. The protocol does so by compressing HTTP headers, by allowing HTTP requests to be processed out of order to reduce bottlenecks, and by allowing a single TCP connection to handle multiple requests in order to reduce TCP connection overhead.

SPDY is not a replacement for HTTP, though it does override some parts of it, specifically HTTP connection management and data transfer formats. Google has deployed SPDY in the stable version of its Chrome browser and uses it for services like Search and Gmail. Other companies have recently started adopting the protocol, too. Mozilla uses SPDY in Firefox, Amazon uses it in its Silk browser, and Twitter implemented it in March.

An Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) working group is presently considering both SPDY and a competing proposal from Microsoft, HTTP Speed+Mobility, for inclusion in the forthcoming revision of the HTTP protocol, dubbed HTTP 2.0.

SMBs have saved big buying software on a subscription model. The new, all-digital Cloud Beyond SaaS issue of InformationWeek SMB shows how to determine if infrastructure services can pay off, too. Also in this issue: One startup's experience with infrastructure-as-a-service shows how the numbers stack up for IaaS vs. internal IT. (Free registration required.)

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

How SolarWinds Changed Cybersecurity Leadership's Priorities
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/26/2021
How CIOs Can Advance Company Sustainability Goals
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  5/26/2021
IT Skills: Top 10 Programming Languages for 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/21/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll