Remember when you were willing to wait a few seconds for a computer to respond to a click on a Web site or a tap on a keyboard? These days, even 400 milliseconds — literally the blink of an eye — is too long, as Google engineers have discovered. That barely perceptible delay causes people to search less.
“Subconsciously, you don’t like to wait,” said Arvind Jain, a Google engineer who is the company’s resident speed maestro. “Every millisecond matters.”