Google has announced that mobile-friendly content will be given more prominence in Google News on web, Android and iOS platforms. The update will introduce a new Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) carousel at the top of the page featuring a selection of the most important headlines for users who want fast-loading and simple access to news stories.
Google has revealed that its open-source AMP has been hugely popular with brands, ad partners and content creation platforms such as WordPress since its arrival last year. The tech giant integrated pages designed for mobile into search results back in February, and it is now extending that to Google News, where 14 AMP-powered articles will be scrollable and clickable.
Google claims that the move will make it easier for people to find relevant content and enjoy a “lightning-fast reading experience.” Users will be able to browse any of the headlines from the carousel and click into the viewer to read the fast-loading AMP articles. They will also be able to swipe to read the next story in the carousel. All of the articles featured will have the AMP lightning bolt icon to inform readers that they are optimised for mobile.
“Our tests have shown that AMP documents load an average of four times faster and use ten times less data than the equivalent non-amp’ed result,” Google News Engineering Director Maricia Scott said in a blog post. “In many cases these stories will load instantly. That adds up to a win for publishers and users. While we can’t expand the amount of time in the day, with AMP we can help users consume more content in the time they do have.”
Google said that the “AMPlification” of news stories will be beneficial for publishers, as readers will be more likely to read rich media content containing video, graphics, animations and social embeds if they know they can access it instantaneously. This will drive more traffic to web pages and websites. Google will begin by rolling out the new feature for the English US Edition, while further languages and editions will be updated in the near future.