Last year, Google started talking about Accelerated Mobile Pages. This is an open source project designed to greatly accelerate how quickly web pages can be rendered in a browser by a combination of reducing the size of the webpage, and so reducing the time it takes to download the content, plus reducing the complexity of the underlying page itself, which reduces the time it takes for the device to render and display the page. Accelerated Mobile Pages have a large number of uses, from making websites bearable to use with a poor quality, slow data connection, through making news articles quicker to load. Indeed, Google’s current information about Accelerated Mobile Pages shows that each page renders four times quicker than a standard page and uses around ten percent of the data. On a reasonable internet connection, this means that the page loads almost instantly and so AMP is a great way to keep readers captivated with whatever story they are reading.
Accelerated Mobile Pages technology has faced a number of difficulties during its development period, including but not limited to how the underlying website advertising can still function through the accelerated browsing without either causing the page to grind to a halt and without providing the same detailed information flow back to the advertiser. This has a particular relevance to consuming news on the go, where industry information shows that should somebody reading the news have to wait more than a few seconds for an article to show, he or she loses interest and switches to another article – but these web pages are paid for via advertising. Soon, for the customers using the English US language, Google is rolling out Accelerated Mobile Pages technology for the Google News site. AMP sites have been in use for a few months now, but pulling them into Google News almost seems as though the technology is coming home. Google is enabling AMP for the mobile web, Android and iOS platforms.
The Google News site is changing with a new AMP carousel showing at the top of the screen, which details current stories taking place. There will be up to fourteen stories here and the idea is that these are all linked to AMP sites, so the underlying articles could load almost immediately. As customers flick through the normal news feed, those AMP articles will have a lightning bolt symbol attached – making it obvious what websites are taking advantage of the new, high-performance technology. Although currently Google is only enabling Accelerated Mobile Pages content for US English sites, their blog on the subject reports that the technology is coming soon to other languages.