Google Unveils Accelerated Mobile Pages Project
Google has introduced a brand new open source initiative, and it is called the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. As suggested by its project name, the AMP Project aims to bring in a world wherein users can load web pages (most especially news articles) faster on mobile devices. In order to make this happen, AMP publishers will have to adhere to a specific technical specification protocol for quicker loading web pages. Plus, there will ben an option to serve the articles from Google’s own cache.
Last month, there were reports that Google was working with social media giant Twitter on an open source project in order to get articles to load quicker on mobile devices. In many ways, this project would be considered a competitor to Facebook’s Instant Articles, as well as other news distribution platforms.
David Besbris, vice president of engineering at Google, noted during the presentation of the AMP Project that mobile users nowadays often read web pages via various mobile apps. Google obviously wants the process to be more simplified -- i.e. why use a separate mobile app for reading web pages when you can do it on your smartphone’s browser, that is after Googling them. But the problem is, the websites themselves are not optimized for mobile viewing, which often results to slower downloading of web pages. The AMP Project aims to fix that by establishing a technical specification that allows publishers of news articles to make their web pages load more quickly.
For the record, Google is not fully rolling out the AMP Project as of now, so mobile users will not find it on regular Google search. What the tech giant is doing instead is release a developer preview, which comes with a GitHub repository for the open source code. Partners who are joining Google already include Twitter, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Vox Media, and La Stampa. With Twitter, AMP optimized pages will support embedded tweets and Vine posts. According to Michael Ducker, Product Manager at Twitter, AMP links will launch similar to any other link in Twitter’s mobile apps, which will not have any unique support for AMP.
The cool thing about the AMP Project is that publishers do not require to have a working relationship with Google in order to participate in the open source initiative. As a matter of fact, AMP pages will automatically be ranked above non-optimized pages in Google’s search results. But it should be noted that pages that load quickly on mobile are more likely to be visited by users compared to web pages not AMP optimized, which means that they may be ranked higher nonetheless.
Users can try out the AMP Project by opening this link on their mobile device -- just google a news topic, then AMP optimized articles should appear on a carousel. For those who want to learn more about the AMP Project, they can read more about it at the official Google blog, or go visit the project’s official web page.