Webmasters Worries About Google Chrome Pre-Fetching

Aug 4, 2011 • 8:45 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

The other day, Google announced a feature built into Chrome named pre-fetching. It isn't new but Google is talking about it again and it is scaring webmasters.

To best describe what it does, see this short video:

Why is this scaring webmasters? Simply because it can skew the web analytics.

A WebmasterWorld thread shares some of those concerns. Here are some quotes:

Now this is going to create fake hits on web servers without any real visitors...

It will be interesting to see how this ties in with google analytics..

You'd have to assume Google Analytics would handle this fine, but other packages?

What about data plans and bandwidth charges?

Either way..how it is set up now..it is the site owner and the end user are the ones actually paying for this "Google feature"..both are paying the bandwidth or the data charges ..and for a "benefit" that we only have Google's word the visitor actually wants ..most pages ( unless they are running Google's own slow analytics codes etc ) load fast enough for every one.

Are you concerned? Personally, I am not.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: August 3, 2011


Matt Soreco

08/04/2011 01:35 pm

I wonder what it does with dynamic content.


08/04/2011 01:56 pm

I think Google is smart enough not to fire javascript codes until the page is loaded by the user, i.e., they just prefetch everything else except js.

SEO Catalysts

08/04/2011 02:35 pm

Inbuilt functionality of instant pages in google chrome is really something interesting..pages are loading instantly in compare to search without instant pages...Users are getting benefit from this...But webmasters are now skewed... At the end,its all about internet marketing....  

Thiago Pojda

08/04/2011 02:37 pm

On SMX Advanced Matt said something like: "If a visitor clicks on your result and goes back to the SERP, the result is likely to be removed on his next search".  If this counts as a visit, and the user decides to refine his query, will this hurt me? That's my only concern.

Michael Martinez

08/04/2011 05:19 pm

When I made a fuss about this before a Googler (I don't recall who or where) said that it's only going to affect the top listing IF their algorithm concludes that the searcher is most likely going to click on that link.  The impact should not be that significant on analytics data. But people should be looking at conversions anyway.  This is only an issue if your bandwidth spikes into a range that forces you to pay extra fees.  I seriously doubt that will happen for most Websites.


08/04/2011 06:00 pm

Regarding the skewing of anatytics, google analytics is now smart about not counting pre-rendered pages as visits. Please see the release from July end: http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/community/gajs_changelog.html


08/04/2011 09:14 pm

all this is toooo much - we didn't ask for it, don't want it and it tends to confuse the average user - my clients mention how frustrated they are with google - my take on all this is it like an old man who keeps messing and tweaking with his pc (or toaster) till he screws it all  up - clean and simple is better - that is what the market wants - that is what Google did to win the se wars - they are just opening the door for a lean mean se machine to come along and clobber them good.

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