Google is stepping up its bid to dominate mobile web and has launched a new program called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which supposedly speeds up load times by plugging a piece of Google code into publishers’ websites. The search giant claims that its tools cut down load time by 15-85% in initial tests. Currently 38 publishers have joined the AMP project which includes BuzzFeed, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Financial Times, Vox Media and the Daily Mail.
Readers will remember that in September, Google and Twitter were working together on their own version of ‘Instant Articles’ to display to users using either service on mobiles. Google said on its blog that the project relies on AMP HTML, a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies, which allows websites to build light-weight webpages. Other technology partners (apart from Twitter) include Pinterest, WordPress.com, Chartbeat, Parse.ly, Adobe Analytics and LinkedIn.
The project will allow publishers to host their own content, innovate on their user experiences, and flexibly integrate their advertising and business models. Adweek notes that Google will not be giving higher search rankings to publishers that use its tools, but speed will be a factor in determining where a news article appears in search results.
Currently, AMP is integrated into Google’s searches and in the coming months other Google products such as Google News will also integrate AMP HTML pages. Here’s a look at how AMP would look on mobile devices:
It’s also worth noting that in June, Google rolled out a new feature in India to speed up web pages. Websites on mobile Chrome would get a ‘Network Quality Estimator’ (NQE), which will analyse the user’s network connection in order to optimise search results and subsequent landing web pages to load faster, giving higher priority to text and information over data-intensive images. The NQE would, in effect, change the rendering of web pages on a slow connection in order to make the web pages usable and fast.
iAd for publishers:
Earlier this month, Apple announced The Apple News Format for publishers, which on release, would allow publishers to create editorial layouts and custom typography, along with galleries, audio, video and interactive animation. Publishers will also be able to use iAd, through which the could earn 70% of the revenues when iAd sells ads for them; otherwise they would be able to earn 100% revenue. iAd will provide publishers with campaign management, targeting and reporting features.
Facebook instant articles:
In May, Facebook announced Instant Articles, a mobile app feature where news from The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News and German news publishers Spiegel and Bild were displayed. We’d reported in March, that Facebook would apparently remove the usual ads of a publication (when the content was hosted on Facebook) and show a single ad in a custom format within each Facebook article.