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Google Proposes Alternative to AMP

March 12, 2018 1 Comment

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project (AMP) is a little controversial: users love it for increasing mobile page load times and publishers hate it because it feels like they’re giving Google too much control in return for better placement on search pages.


Google on Thursday proposed bringing some lessons learned from the AMP project to the web as a whole, meaning users will profit from the company’s efforts and will see faster non-AMP sites across the internet.


It does mean that marketers would have to adopt a new set of site standards, but Google is providing them a new path to be included in the Top Stories carousel on mobile search results pages.


“Based on what we learned from AMP, we now feel ready to take the next step and work to support more instant-loading content not based on AMP technology in areas of Google Search designed for this, like the Top Stories carousel,” wrote AMP project tech lead Malte Ubl. “This content will need to follow a set of future web standards and meet a set of objective performance and user experience criteria to be eligible.”


AMP is, in many ways, a “hack on top of the web” using a smart combination of modern tech, iframes, which are a stripped-down set of markup and proxies to speed up page load times. With new standards like Web Packaging, Feature Policy, Paint Timing, and more, developers will be able to speed up their sites even more.


Google wants to highlight sites using such tech and feature non-AMP sites in the Top Stories carousel when and if they meet performance and user criteria, as well as when they implement the new standards. The AMP team stressed that Web Packaging “in particular” will allow it to instant-load pages outside of AMP.


The new tech opens up a new potential path for publishers wanting to be feature in the Top Stories carousel on mobile without using AMP. For now, though, the team can’t provide publishers with a timeline for when Google will begin to implement the changes, as the standards are still in flux.


It comes as no surprise that Google still recommends that publishers “bet on” AMP for the time being.


“We hope this work will also unlock AMP-like embeddability that powers Google Search features like the Top Stories carousel,” wrote Ubl. “Meanwhile, AMP will be Google’s well-lit path to creating great user experiences on the web. It will be just one of many choices, but it will be the one we recommend.”


While AMP is still the recommended solution, critics will undoubtedly wonder if Google is “simply interested in building and highlighting this second path to deflect people’s criticism of the AMP project”, a concern the AMP team will likely have to address at some point.

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  • Smartest Digital Marketer on Earth says:

    Google is the devil.