Google's new design pollutes the environment
Saturday, December 3, 2011 1:53:46 PM
If you look at the new design of Google, (Yes, that is Opera displaying it) it looks quite simplified, but let us take a look under the hood:
The page contains almost everything as inline code, meaning: CSS, Scripts and partially images as base64 encoded sprites. If we concentrate on the CSS, we can see that it is a minified CSS block at the beginning of the page. This block is larger than 70KB! This means:
When you do a search with Google, you needlessly have to download additional 70kB of inline stylesheet (CSS between style tags inside the web page) each and every time.
It is said in the web, that about 3 billion search requests are sent to Google every day. I don't know how many search requests it really is, my estimate is even higher, but let us take the 3 billion requests for a start:
3*10^9/d * 3*10^1d * 7*10^4B = 63*10^14 Bytes = 6.3*10^15 Bytes
6.3 Peta Bytes! Every month!
This could be avoided if Google would just put the CSS on a content distribution network, link to it from within the search results page and set the expiry headers for the CSS to a reasonable value so that it can be cached. Thus the browser would just ask the server if the resource it already has in its cache is expired. If it is unchanged, the browser would get a simple HTTP 304 "Not changed" answer and could use the cached file. This would not only speed up the download of the main results page but lessen the traffic in the net by a measurable amount, additionally it would be good for the environment:
Delivering 70kB of data costs about the same amount of energy like heating up a cold cup of coffee to drinking temperature and this energy doesn't come for free. 90 Billion cups of coffee per month is an enormous amount ...
I wonder how many power plants could be shut down and how many tons of CO2 emission could be saved if Google just changed their web page a little bit.