Google has unveiled several new desktop and mobile search tools, including a Chrome service known as Instant Pages that attempts to accelerate your searches by rendering pages before you actually click on them.
Already available with the developer version of Google Chrome – and due to arrive in the next stable version of the browser later this summer – Instant Pages attempts to predict what you will click on, and if it has a certain amount of confidence in its prediction, it will render the page before you select it. In most cases, this simply means that Google will pre-render the top link on each results page.
"We save users a lot of time both with auto complete and Google Instant, but we're not done yet," Google Fellow Amit Singhal said during a press event in San Francisco. "Even when you select the page that you want, the page is not there. You don't yet have the information you need. With Instant Pages, when you click on a result, the page may just be there. Instantaneously."
Because Google will make mistakes – rendering pages you don't actually want – this will undoubtedly skew page-view statistics for those running websites. Google Chrome product manager Alex Komoroske said that webmasters can adjust their page view stats using the experimental version of the Page Visibility API, which is in the very early stages of standardization at the W3C. But webmasters better get cracking. Instant Pages will be available in the Chrome beta channel this week, before it arrives in the stable version of the browser about a month after that.
On first blush I'm not liking this at all... and the potential for blowing bandwidth out the wahzoo is very disturbing.