Tim Igoe's Web Design, Development and Hosting Blog

Google Chrome’s New Features? Good or Bad

Posted on by Tim Igoe

Google ChromeThis week Google have pushed out the latest version of Chrome, bringing with it security updates and several new features.

One of these features introduced is “Preemptive Rendering”, which on the front of it sounds like it could be a useful thing to get your page visible quicker. However, it had me thinking, from a server /hosting point of view are these pre-loading systems a good idea or not?

Well for a start off, pre-loading content from a server can potentially add extra load for a user who was never actually going to visit your site. Now, Google have said for the time being it will only work on sites a user visits regularly but I’m still not convinced this is a good plan for those sites. Small sites should be ok, however the bigger the site, the more likely this change is going to hurt them.

For a second, they can start to skew your statistics, if the browser starts to load and pre-render more pages than the user actually visits. Advertisers often require accurate figures if you are to include their banners within your site, having incorrect figures could effect your revenue. My guess would be Chrome and Analytics working together, but if you don’t use that combination then you may be out of luck.

Another change added, is relating to security, Google will compare downloads against a known safe white list. If the URL is not in the list or Google can’t work out what the file is, then the URL will be transmitted to Google for analysis. Now this is another featre that sounds good on the outside, but there are some files that Google should NOT know about (direct / private downloads when transfering files between users for example) – Does this new feature mean Google will start to index / read files that it shouldn’t be able to see?

As this feature is enabled by default, and has to be disabled by the user – I can see most Chrome users won’t touch it.

I already know personally that Google Chrome works with Google, I cannot explain how else files on an *INTERNAL* development server (that is locked access to the internet) can actually appear in Google’s Search index – They are still there now too!

When do features become a problem? When does security get thrown away? I’m all for advancements in browsers but I’m not sure I like some of the recent changes.

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