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Speed is of the essence – Google launch Accelerated Mobile Pages

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Just over 6 months on from Google’s announcement that mobile friendly websites would be taking priority in mobile searches, and it seems that catering for the mobile user is still at the forefront of Google’s development.

It’s for good reason – with data getting cheaper and networks faster, there is a constant increase in content consumed on mobile phones, and earlier this year Google announced that more searches were taking place on mobile devices than on desktop. But the browsing experience on a mobile can vary greatly, depending on the website accessed. It’s not enough for websites to look good on a phone or tablet, they also have to load fast.

Anyone who’s ever sat staring at their phone while a loading icon spins will know the frustration of a slow-loading page. Many mobile internet users browse while they’re bored – waiting in a queue, travelling to work – and a loading screen does nothing to alleviate their boredom. The longer it takes, the more likely it is that users will tap the back button.

So what is Google doing?

The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, or AMP Project, is Google’s solution to slow-loading pages: a new kind of HTML (a.k.a. website code language) specifically for mobile.

Though the project is still in development, Google are working with some of the biggest names on the web (Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress and Adobe are all already involved) and nearly thirty major media partners including the BBC, Daily Mail and The Guardian – so you just know it’s going to be big.

The plan is to provide all web developers with an easy way to create stripped-down websites built for speed – the websites will load instantaneously.

We are always excited by new ideas, and think this is a great example of how Google drives website development to new and amazing levels of innovation. We’ll be watching the development of Accelerated Mobile Pages with keen interest.

If you want to find out more about how it works, Google have a nice overview about their new approach to web performance, and provide the basic HTML criteria on Github

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