How Google AMP will transform the way you search on mobile?

An open source initiatives, Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), launched today aims to improve mobile web search experience by substantially reducing the load time for content

By Mohd Ujaley

You don’t need a geek, expert or research report to substantiate that people abandon website quickly – be it on mobile or desktop – if content does not load fast. Research after research have shown that poor speed is one of the biggest impediment to smooth browsing experience. In fact, in recent past, we have seen many initiatives taken by e-commerce portal to ensure that their website load faster and after check-out payment process smoothly in as less time as possible. Same is equally true for other publishers be it media companies or tech giants, they all want to offer smooth experience to their users.

To address this challenge recently Facebook and Apple came out with propriety tools such as Facebook’s Instant Article and Apple’s News with limited effect. But to make it large and take the lead, Google has officially launched its open source initiatives called “Accelerated Mobile Pages” (AMP), which is aimed at improving the performance of the mobile web search by substantially reducing the load time for content.

So now when you search on the Google from mobile device for anything, it will offer you, web-pages which has been created by using AMP and will appear when relevant in the Top Stories section of the search results page. Any story you choose to read will load blazingly fast—and it’s easy to scroll through the article without it taking forever to load or jumping all around as you read. It’s also easy to quickly flip through the search results just by swiping from one full-page AMP story to the next, claims Google.

In a press note, David Besbris, VP Engineering, Search said “AMP will allow publishers to deliver content to readers when they are on the move, faster, consistently and along with a uniform experience. Starting today, Google will make it easy to find AMP web-pages in relevant mobile search results, giving users a lightning-fast reading experience for top stories.”

How this initiative has started? If you go by Google AMP official blog, it says, on October 7, 2015, Google announces the initial technical specifications for an open source initiative – AMP – to make the mobile web as fast as possible. Within short span of time over 5000 developers took part in the joint mission to improve the mobile web for everyone. And, within span of five-month, Google is ready with AMP to surpass previous experiments in this field.

The task is quite tedious because participating firms need to create a separate AMP version of the content in addition to usual desktop version and many questions around content monetisation is yet to get the clear answer. However, as told by a senior media person, as we move along, AMP will become the de-facto for mobile browsing.

In a plain language, in two recent articles, Frédéric Filloux, ‎Editor of the Monday Note explains, when you and me search on Internet, we basically get all – conventional web page payload text, images, videos gifs, basic ad formats, javascripts, iframes, embeds, large chunks of the CSS etc. They usually take long time to get fully loaded, leading to user turning away from the website.

But now Google in partnership with publishers has redesigns core components of the Internet’s historic Hypertext Markup Language, now re-christened as “amp-html”. The “amp-html” strips off most of the conventional web page payload and only keeps the HTML code directly involved in content rendering: text, images, videos gifs, basic ad formats and a few strictly mandatory trackers. Everything else —javascripts, iframes, embeds, large chunks of the CSS etc.— known to slow down page downloads is shuttled to a separate “container”. As for ads, they load separately, usually one second after the editorial content.

Also, Google supports AMP with a massive distributed caching system in which it hosts pages for a few seconds or hours, in multiple caches spread around the world to be closest to the user to ensure low latency.

Now all publishers have to provide two versions of their pages, one for direct access from a well-connected desktop, and an AMP version for mobile. “It goes like this: When a page is called from a mobile through search, Twitter or other, the user is directed to the super-fast page,” writes Filloux.

Across the globe over 220 companies which deals in media, technologies, CMS, video, analytics have opted for AMP. In India, over ten news and media firms including Indian Express Group, Oneindia, FirstPost, Business Standard, NDTV,, Economic Times, Hindustan Times and DNA, are participating in the initiative.

Since, AMP does away with problem of latency and helps to improve the mobile ecosystem for everyone – users, content providers, creators, advertisers and platforms – the media companies are expecting to provide best possible experience to their readers.

AMP is great for browsing the web on mobile devices, because web-pages built with AMP load an average of four times faster and use 10 times less data than equivalent non-AMP pages, claims Google.

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