Control Your (Page Speed) Destiny Using Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages

Today’s fun quiz: Match up the big company in Column A with its approach to distributed content publishing in Column B. (Essentially, this is when news publishers publish their content somewhere besides their own websites.)

Column AColumn B
• Google
• Facebook
• Apple
• Just do it our way; it looks better.
• If you just lived here, you’d never have to leave.
• Our Kool Aid is open source!

All three organizations want to sell publishers on utilizing distributed content publishing as a way to speed up delivery of news stories on mobile devices, and all three claim that faster, prettier mobile news publishing will mean more readers and more stories read. But only Google’s approach, Accelerated Mobile Pages, is open source and aims to change the entire industry.

(It also boasts the most highfalutin sell of the three. In the site’s introductory video, Richard Gingras, Google’s head of news, speaks reverently about the company’s desire to “make the web great again.” (wince.) “[With AMP,] publishers can maintain control over their own destinies.” Thanks, Google!)

The basics are straightforward: Sign up for AMP, code your stories with Google’s AMP HTML and AMP JS, and any publisher (including you!) can start serving super quick, interactive, and publisher-branded news stories to the mobile web. Publishers can serve their own ads, or sell ads using Google’s AMP for Ads.

Unlike Apple News Format or Facebook Instant Articles, AMP stories can be crawled, cached, and served anywhere across the mobile web via Google’s free AMP Cache.

Although Google promises that there is no “significant learning curve” for AMP HTML and JS, a peek at the code makes it clear that getting started is work for a web developer and not merely a weekend blogger. And, although some traffic data is available, the AMP Roadmap shows a fair amount of analytics development is still in the works.

Given Google’s development track record, it seems likely that AMP will indeed become a robust and fully featured mobile publishing format, but the sheer scope of the organization’s goals mean it will take some time to reach their full flowering.

If you’re interested in joining the many web publishers now serving AMP content, give us a call. Although the Google documentation may look overwhelming, any publisher with a good content management system, can integrate AMP publishing without adding to their daily production load. We think that’s a good bet.

(Last month we talked about publishing in the Apple News Format; we moved on to cover Facebook Instant Articles.)


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