Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is at it again, making the Web a better place without asking for much in return.

This time, Big G has launched an optimization toolbox for webmasters and developers everywhere. "Let's make the web faster," the press release trumpets, front and center. Then it leads you on to an impressive array of tools and documentation that help the IT guys make web pages load faster.

Only one of these tools -- a nifty Swiss Army Knife of optimization tricks called Page Speed -- comes from Google itself. The rest are either open-source programs like the Httperf benchmarking tool or software from outright competitors. There are links to programs by IBM (NYSE:IBM), Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), and even Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in there. Google doesn't seem to play favorites.

This is a very comprehensive set of resources that is sure to attract developers by the boatload. Being a hobbyist hacker myself, I've already tapped into the documentation and the Page Speed tool to squeeze a few milliseconds of load time out of my Web properties. Thanks, guys!

A few thousand hardcore geeks surfing an entirely ad-free site with plenty of outbound hyperlinks doesn't pay Google's bills, though. So how does the company hope to get a return on this investment of time, bandwidth, and support resources?

I told you that a few days ago, actually. The whole idea is to make the Web a little bit faster, a little more pleasant, and a tad less of a hassle to navigate. If some genius at Yahoo! or eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) uses Google's information to make their home pages load half a second faster, then someone, somewhere will probably feel a happy difference and keep browsing around just a few clicks further. And some of those extra clicks should involve a Google ad or two. Money in the bank!

Don't forget that Google has an image to maintain, too. Some of my fellow Fools don't really believe in Google's famed "don't be evil" mantra. Me, I think there's still a significant kernel of real-world application for that Googlocratic Oath. Either way, publishing something for the general good of the Web may swing the needle of public opinion just a tad closer to the halo, and away from the white-hot pitchfork.

And in the E-niverse, just a slightly more positive image can be the last straw that turns a user away from Bing or IAC's (NASDAQ:IACI) -- and back into Google-land.

More super-fast Foolishness:

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. eBay is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. eBay and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.