Google has extended its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) feature to all its search results, including the Top stories section. On mobiles, it can be accessed here. Google states that extension is not a tweak to its ranking algorithm. Google’s AMP extension comes 6 months after Facebook made its Instant Articles available for all publishers, regardless of their size and location.
The AMP-Google search extension, Google claims, is a “result of growth of AMP beyond publishers,” in order to make mobile web faster. Web pages labeled AMP with the adjoining image will be accessible within Google’s AMP viewer. Google will make AMP available “more broadly” this year. It will also give “enough time” to those interested in signing up for AMP.
In October last year, Google launched AMP to speed up web page load times by plugging a piece of Google code into publishers’ websites. It then claimed that AMP cut down load time by 15-85% in initial tests and then had 38 publishers including BuzzFeed, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Financial Times, Vox Media and the Daily Mail.
Its interesting to note that Google is competing with Facebook’s Instant Articles in order to gain a mobile web market share, because increasingly, users are looking at Facebook as a medium to get their news from. Google does not directly have such a platform (other than some of its already dead ones), other than Google Now, which, if customised, shows a user popular stories based on the user’s web search, selected topics etc. And given that most of the web search happens on Google, adding AMP to across its search results will only give users more access to content on the web.
Google’s Twitter partnership for mobile web pages
In September 2015, Google and Twitter started working on an open source project (then also called AMP) which would show their users cached copies of their publishers’ websites. Its technology partners included Pinterest, WordPress.com, Chartbeat, Parse.ly, Adobe Analytics and LinkedIn. In May 2015, Google started integrating tweets into its search results on smartphones. Google had reportedly signed a deal with Twitter in February 2015 which would give Google access to Twitter’s tweets.
Note that in July last year, Twitter updated its summary cards on mobile (both Android and iOS) to show previews of articles within the tweet. Twitter claimed that with this update, users on mobile would be able to see the image, title and summary of the tweet in their timelines and that the format was ‘more attractive’ for consuming information.
Facebook padding Instant Articles:
Facebook, which announced Instant Articles in May 2015, made it available on the Messenger app (look for the white lightning bolt in the top right corner or articles). In December last year, it let publishers display ads more frequently. In September 2015, In September, Facebook added new features to help publishers publish their full catalog of articles on Instant Articles everyday.
Our Google coverage.