Chrome 13′s ‘Instant Pages’ Knows Which Links You’ll Click
Google has released a new stable version of its Chrome web browser, adding a new feature, “Instant Pages.” Instant Pages attempts to speed up Google searches by rendering pages in the background, before you even click a link. Google claims that Chrome 13′s Instant Pages feature saves between 2 and 5 seconds every time you search.
If you’d like to take Chrome 13 for a spin, head on over to the Chrome downloads page. If you’re already using Chrome the browser should update itself the next time you restart it.
The Google search results page is probably the highest profile site to use pre-rendering, but any website can initiate pre-rendering in Chrome via some HTML. Of course that prefetching and pre-rendering is only helpful if people actually click the link being fetched. If you’re wrong about which link your visitors are going to click, pre-rendering can significantly slow down the page they actually want.
Back when Google first announced Instant Pages Google Fellow Amit Singhal said that “Instant Pages will pre-render results when we’re confident you’re going to click them.” In the time since Google has done little to clarify just how it knows what you’re planning to click, but if you’ve used Instant Pages in the Chrome dev or beta channels you’ll already know it actually works quite well on Google.com.
Chrome 13 also offers a much improved URL/search bar which is better at matching both URLs and page titles from your browsing history. This release also adds print preview support for the Windows and Linux versions of Chrome (Google says the Mac version is coming soon).