Will You Use Google's mod_pagespeed?

Nov 4, 2010 • 8:40 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A couple days ago, Google announced on several blogs that they released a new module for the Apache HTTP Server called mod_pagespeed.

It should do what the name says, speed up your pages. Google said:

We're starting with more than 15 on-the-fly optimizations that address various aspects of web performance, including optimizing caching, minimizing client-server round trips and minimizing payload size. We've seen mod_pagespeed reduce page load times by up to 50% (an average across a rough sample of sites we tried) -- in other words, essentially speeding up websites by about 2x, and sometimes even faster.

My team tested it but we have not yet activated it or made a decision if we will.

We all know how obsessed Google is with speed and how it may play a small part in the Google ranking algorithm. But at the same time, there are some concerns.

A WebmasterWorldthread has some of those concerns:

Great stuff provided it does what it promises, my only concern is about installing any thing coming from big bro on my servers. We'd better check sources before installing.

Also, the mod does a fair amount of page code 'rewriting', something once considered absolutely not okay when browser-based because of the high likelihood it messed up your original code -- alignments changed, ditto font and image sizes, etc.

On the flip side:

I see no reason that this would send anything back to Google. Google have never lied about what Chrome does - and you can turn it off.

So, will you use it? Take my poll:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: November 2010 Google Webmaster Report



11/04/2010 03:00 pm

>>my only concern is about installing any thing >>coming from big bro on my servers The module has been released as open source so I see no reason to be concerned about the "big bro". The module may be built (compiled) from source on the server you will install it on, that is you can control every aspect of it: you can modify the C code if you like, you can take a sneak peak on what the module can do and most importantly, you can check if there's a chance for foul play in the background. On another note, webmasters should make use of it because it will speed up the sites considerably and the users will reward this; it shouldn't be Google for who you speed up your site, but the users.

Fábián Gábor

11/05/2010 01:42 am

If my host (1&1) will allow it on a shared hosting, then sure, I will try it, but don't think that will happen soon on a basic package.

Daniel Craig Jallits

11/05/2010 05:22 am

I am currently playing around with mod_pagespeed on my Media Temple DV box. While (mt) said this was possible, I am having nothing but issues with it. While the Apache module does dramatically increase page load times, after a while it causes my server to come to a screeching halt. I am still investigating the reason(s) for this. Link to (mt) article: http://wiki.mediatemple.net/w/%28dv%29_HOWTO:_Install_mod_pagespeed>


11/05/2010 10:14 am

@Daniel, try to see how many HTTPD processes are spawned. You shouldn't have too many, say more than a dozen. In some isolated cases mod_pagespeed will spawn lots of persistent HTTPD processes and may cause server instability. This issue was seen on Debian boxes if it matters.

No Name

11/07/2010 01:47 am

sounds intriguing .... but only time will show how it will work out to the http server and most important on the SEO score ... I would probably wait to see the results first and bugs being taken care


11/08/2010 08:05 am

Sure will give it a try, why not? It's a good thing Google is trying to improve the satisfaction of the Internet users, I appreciate this.

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