About.com has partnered with Google's Make the Web Faster team to make About.com faster. This is relatively significant to the web, given that About.com results often rank very high in search results.
This likely means that will continue, as Google recently made page speed a ranking signal (though only one of over 200). The work About.com has been doing with Google includes:
- Serving static content from a domain without cookies.
- Leveraging browser and server-side caching wherever possible.
- Compressing image file sizes on output, and serving .png wherever possible.
- Asking rich media vendors and the Internet ad industry at large to take performance considerations into account when building and serving rich media ads. Any improvements made will ultimately benefit the advertiser, the server, the publisher and the user.
Last summer Google started aggressively campaigning to make the web faster, talking up HTML5, Page Speed, etc. Now Caffeine is out, which appears to be Google's biggest contribution to this (speeding up the actual indexing of the web).
More on Google's work with About.com here.