Networks and smartphones are constantly getting faster and faster, but the mobile web feels slower than ever. That’s because more ads are pushed into our browsers and more sites use tackers; large GIFs could also have something to do with our slow mobile web.
Google is a fixer if nothing else, so a few months ago it set out to change this. The answer was the Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) project aiming to replicate the Facebook Instant Article feature on the open web.
So Google started highlighting AMP pages in its mobile search results starting today, February 24. In general, this means that searching for news items will prompt Google’s search engine to return a carousel of highlighted stories from AMP-enabled pages.
In its current form, AMP is focused on accelerating news sites; this carousel is similar to what you’ve already seen for searches that prompted Google to show you a Twitter results carousel.
The important difference, however, is that when you’ll click on any of these links, the website will load instantly – or with the smallest of delays.
Since this isn’t magic, the AMP pages will still take a bit to load if you’re accessing them from really slow connections – but even then, they will load drastically faster than other mobile pages.
When you choose a website in the carousel, Google will start loading the page, but you also have the option of swiping left and right to check out other stories in the carousel, without having to keep going back to the main search results page.
For now, AMP pages will be presented through this carousel, with the occasional stray AMP page that might also show on its own in the search results. Just like with the others, these individual websites will also be highlighted with the dedicated green AMP icon.
Numerous publishers have already adhered to their AMP pages, and TechCrunch will jump on board soon. Google said AMP pages use significantly less data than non-AMP pages and load four times faster.
More factors contribute to how these pages load; basically, these AMP pages have been stripped-down to their HTML core. It also helps that Google pre-renders some of these pages and the fact that it has talked with analytics firms and ad networks to improve their approach of these AMP pages.
Google said that AMP pages will provide “a far superior experience than standard mobile pages” and will help the company continue to show users the best answers to their questions.
Image Source: Alphr