Google Wants to Speed Up the Mobile Web, But Their Focus is Too Narrow

Google's highly-anticipated response to Facebook Instant Articles was announced today, and there's something missing.

The WSJ, Android Police, Digiday, 9to5Google and a bunch of other sites are reporting that Google held a press event this morning to announce a new tech called Accelerated Mobile Pages.

AMP isn't a new app like Apple News, or a distribution channel like Facebook Instant Articles. Instead it's tech that web publishers might one day be able to integrate into their sites so they can improve your mobile browsing experience.

Google Wants to Speed Up the Mobile Web, But Their Focus is Too Narrow Google .

According to Google's blog post, AMP is a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies, which allows websites to build light-weight webpages. It simplifies the HTML code for mobile Web content so that speed is prioritized over other functions. It also integrates caching tech that would show readers the latest updates of developing stories instead of older versions. Google said it would make its cloud service available for AMP caching.

AMP is launching today with 30 partner sites, and Google has said that Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress.com, Chartbeat, Parse.ly, Adobe Analytics, and LinkedIn have already signed up to participate.

You can read more about it on Google's blog post, and you can also find the code on GitHub.

And if you'd like to try AMP, Google has (theoretically) made a demo available through Google search. I describe it as being theoretically available because I still haven't seen it yet on any of my mobile devices.

I also haven't seen it on my non-mobile devices, which to me is the more important issue.

While it's great that Google is doing something about the mobile browsing experience, I think they've overlooked the fact that half of all web browsing is not on mobile devices. The non-mobile browsing experience isn't too great either (this is why so many of us use black adverts and tracking scripts) and it could really benefit from any tricks to streamline pages and reduce loading time.

Sure, all the blame for bloated webpages falls on web publishers, but a lot of us are actively trying to fix the problem. We'd love to get another tool which could improve the browsing experience on our sites.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

9 Comments

  1. Popup8 October, 2015

    Don’t you think that the main reason for Google to roll this out is to block adblockers?

    The way I read it, the pages are composed ‘in the cloud’, and pushed to the handset. That way there’s no easy way for a client-side adblocker to selectively remove the annoying parts.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder8 October, 2015

      That could be it, yes.

      Reply
    2. Nate Hoffelder8 October, 2015

      I’ve asked a couple tech experts, and they said no.

      Reply
  2. Popup9 October, 2015

    OK. Interesting.
    (Always reassuring to be told that I’m being too paranoid…)

    But, in all seriousness, why not? If the pages are being pre-composed in the cloud, how could a client-side ad-blocker work?

    Or have I misunderstood how it works?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder9 October, 2015

      The pages aren’t pre-composed in the cloud any more than regular webpages. This is just a unique way to make the pages so that they load faster.

      Reply
  3. Popup9 October, 2015

    OK. That makes more sense. I was under the impression that everything was precomposed and cached by Google. It looks like they are indeed being cached, but maybe not composed. I still worry about ad-blocking, though. If everything is cached by googles servers it will be more difficult for a client-side adblocker to tell ads from content.

    Reply
  4. […] announces Accelerated Mobile […]

    Reply
  5. Nate Hoffelder19 October, 2015

    NYTimes Tries to Cover App/Mobile Web Divide, But Misses the Long View

    Reply
  6. […] Google's solution for fixing bloat on the mobile web is less than popular in certain circles. XDA Forums reported on their blog that an Android developer has released an app that replaces an AMP page with the original page. […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top