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Accelerated Mobile Pages – Google Brings Next Big Phase Of Search Early Next Year

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Google has released an update on the new project called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an initiative to improve the load time of web pages on mobile web. In the update, it has mentioned the support and interest shown by numerous publishers, analytics vendor and developers for the project.

Google launched the open source project on the 1st week of October. The AMP project aims at improving the performance of content rich pages on mobile devices. It is considered to be a significant move against the frustrating experiences of readers while reading articles on mobile. The project also targets the concerns of publishers of slowing down the ability to load articles quickly due to extra codes, tracking scripts and ads, on mobile devices.

This problem is not only ruining the end users’ experience but also restricting the efforts of publishers to keep visitors on sites longer, where they can read or interact with other content or click the ads.

Also, Google’s AMP project seems to be a response to Facebook’s Instant Article, a tool for publishers to create fast and interactive articles on Facebook which can read by end users directly in News Feeds. These articles display within the Facebook App, so readers no longer redirected to the publisher’s website. Google’s new project will also be working on similar lines but in different manner. Internet giant will work with publishers to make articles load instantly on mobile devices without using any other template based system.

The project will use a new open framework called AMP HTML, built on existing technologies. It will enable websites to build light-weighted pages compatible to multiple platforms and devices. As its website www.ampproject.org quotes – “AMP HTML is a new way to make web pages that are optimized to load instantly on users’ mobile devices. It is designed to support smart caching, predictable performance, and modern, beautiful mobile content. Since AMP HTML is built on existing web technologies, and not a template based system, publishers continue to host their own content, innovate on their user experiences, and flexibly integrate their advertising and business models — all within a technical architecture optimized for speed and performance.

To show the progress of the project, Google posted a blog on amphtml.wordpress.com showing the support and interest from publishers, technology providers and developers across the globe.

In the blog post, David Besbris (Vice President of Engineering, Google Search) and Richard Gingras (Head of News, Google) said that “since the launch of AMP, thousands of publishers have articulated their interest in it. Many others have committed their support to the project, including R7.com and NZN Group in Brazil; CBS Interactive, AOL, Thrillist, Slate, International Business Times/Newsweek, Al Jazeera America and The Next Web in the US; El Universal and Milenio in Mexico; The Globe and Mail and Postmedia in Canada, as well as many more across the globe. The Local Media Consortium (LMC), a partnership of 70+ media companies collectively representing 1,600 local newspapers and television stations, has also voiced their support”.

It also mentioned that “Outbrain, AOL, OpenX,, DoubleClick, and AdSense are working within the framework to improve the advertising experience for users, publishers and advertisers on the mobile web.”

Google also don’t want to miss out on analysing and measuring the performance of AMP pages and thus making sure that traffic to AMP pages should be counted just like current web pages. They stated in the blog post that companies like comScore, Adobe Analytics, Parse.ly, Chartbeat, Nielsen, ClickTale and Google Analytics have supported AMP pages and intended to provide analytics of these pages with in their Tool.

Apart from this, more that 4500 developers are also following AMP project on GitHub, contributing new code, samples and documentation.

Google said that it will begin sending traffic to AMP pages in Google search beginning early next year. Though they didn’t give any specific date but intended to share information on “more concrete specifics on timing very soon.”

Meanwhile, there have been questions regarding ranking boost to AMP pages on Google search. In his tweet, Danny Sullivan, founding Editor of Search Engine Land, said that AMP pages won’t rank better because they’re AMP, but noted that Google already rewards speedy pages, so they can still benefit.

This year Google has been very vocal about the mobile friendliness of websites because of the increasing number of smartphone users. Going forward, it had penalised the websites in mid-April which are not mobile friendly, through one of its updates named Mobilegeddon (called by many SEO sites). Since this update, search engine giant has made mobile friendliness, one of the factors for ranking on Google search using mobile. So, it will be interesting to see whether or not Accelerated Mobile Pages get an advantage in Google ranking over other normal mobile friendly web articles or pages.

Image source: Google/ampproject.org

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