Searching Google using the phrase "speed test" has become a common practice for internet users looking to double check their Mbps rate, typically by surfacing a link for the free web product provided by analytics firm Ookla. To take advantage of the common behavior, Google appears to be building its own internet speed test function right into search. That way, when someone types "check internet speed" into the search box, Google can do it for them. The feature may be in response to Netflix's new Fast.com website, which lets you check your internet speed by just typing in the URL and waiting a moment. As others have pointed out, Microsoft's Bing has a similar feature.
The search engine test was first noticed by Twitter user Pete Meyers, who posted a screenshot of the feature and unearthed a Google Support webpage detailing how it works. The page says Google relies on Measurement Lab to perform the tests. The organization, which was founded in 2009 and studies global internet performance, is composed of academic researchers, industry professionals, and Google employees Vint Cerf and Stephen Stuart. We don't have any images of what Google's speed test actually looks like, as the feature does not appear to be widely available just yet. When reached for comment a Google spokesperson said, "We're always experimenting with the look and feel of Search but have nothing to announce at this time."