Yesterday Google announced a new initiative called the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP).
More content is being accessed on mobile devices than ever before, yet the user experience is often painfully slow. It is also frustrating for content publishers who have to compromise on the look and feel of the mobile version of content, not to mention advertisers trying to generate revenue.
The aim of AMP is to make content for mobile phones, particularly news articles, that loads really fast. David Besbris, vice president of engineering for search at Google, said: “We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant”no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using.”
Google’s initiative is clearly intended to catch up with similar moves by other companies. Earlier this year Facebook launched Instant Articles, aimed at loading articles onto mobile phones ‘as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web’. Moments is designed to turn conversations and other content on Twitter into a fast, accessible and coherent narrative, accessible from within Twitter itself.
But these are closed, platform-based solutions that require publishers to sign up with their content. Google has made the AMP Project open-source, so the format will be available to all publishers to implement within their content management systems. WordPress has already announced that it is developing an AMP plugin, and Google has said it hopes that all CMS systems will add support for AMP HTML pages. The initial technical specification has been released on Github, which means that anyone can join in the development fun. Google has announced partnerships with a large group of publishers who will be integrating AMP HTML pages, including Twitter, WordPress, Pinterest, LinkedIn, the BBC and various newspapers. For now you can see a demo of how AMP will work on your mobile.
So what does this mean for your website?
Google insists it won’t penalise websites that aren’t AMP compliant, though earlier this year it started to favour mobile-optimised sites in its search results. Increasing numbers of users will view your website on their mobile or other devices, so it makes sense to offer them the best possible experience.
This is the perfect moment to get in touch with MXMG for a free assessment of your current website. We will give you no-obligation, expert advice on how to make sure your website and digital strategy is up to date and ready to meet the needs of all your users.