Have you noticed a difference using Google on your smartphone this past week? Last week Ilya Grigorik, a Google developer advocate, announced Google was making a tiny tweak which should speed up mobile search on both Safari and Chrome by 200-400 milliseconds.
The company implemented an attribute called <a ping>, which allows them to basically do the click tracking and redirect practically at the same time, as Barry Schwartz explained.
You might not actually be experiencing search with the change, since Google is “gradually rolling out this improvement to all browsers that support the <a ping> attribute.” Grigorik also took the time to explain exactly how the change works:
What’s the benefit? Whenever the user clicks on a result, typically they are first sent to a Google URL redirector and then to the target site. With <a ping>, the click is tracked using an asynchronous call, meaning that the user sees one less redirect and a faster overall experience!