Google announced that it was going to give first preference to articles which were written by publishers who have made use of the Google-backed “Accelerated Mobile Pages Project” (AMP), on its Google News site.
The company launched the open-source initiative last year with the aim of rivaling Facebook’s service, Instant Articles. The Accelerated Mobile Pages main goal is to quicken web browsing on mobile devices by issuing an open framework called AMP HTML, which is entirely based on web technologies, which allows for faster and more lightweight mobile pages.
Accelerated Mobile Pages load faster than usual, even when they have rich media such as videos, animations or graphics, involving things Twitter and some YouTube embeds.
A huge part of news publishers, ad partners, and other platforms like WordPress, analytics firms, and tool makers have all embraced the AMP initiative since it launched last year. In February, Google saw the integration of the AMP pages into its search results, displaying a carousel which highlighted stories that were mainly on AMP-enabled sites.
As of today, Google has also decided to do the same thing for stories on Google News. A carousel also promoting AMP powered news articles will also be on top on the Google News website or app.
This Accelerated Mobile Pages carousel will now display the top stories and the most important headlines on the Google News website, iOS app, and the Android version also. The section can handle up to 14 headlines which will load faster than usual thanks to the fast loading AMP articles. The carousel will also let web users’ swipe to continue reading other stories from the carousel.
Just as Google integrated AMP articles into Google Search, the Accelerated Mobile Pages on Google News will have a lightning bolt next to it with the words ‘AMP’. In this way, people can know which articles can be read quickly thereby increasing the number of clicks on the article. This also pushes publishers who have not integrated the feature into their own systems to reconsider the decision, so that they can also benefit from the traffic that comes from having a highlighted top Google News placement.
As Google claimed in a blog post, “people will read more and click on more stories when they know they will load fast, driving more traffic to a publisher’s site.” Google claims that Accelerated Mobile Pages is able to load articles four times faster on average, and use 10 times less data than the articles without AMP.
The new AMP-focused version of Google News is only for the English U.S version at the moment, but Google says more will come soon.