Google is about to make the mobile web a lot faster. According to a report, the search giant is set to launch their advanced web project dubbed Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), with a projected target date of February 24th. The initiative, as explained by Google, looks to increase the speed at which pages load on mobile devices, decreasing rendering times for end users. Using what Google calls "AMP HTML", publishers can make their pages load much faster than normal, helping users to avoid frustratingly-long wait times and keeping them on a publisher's webpage longer.
The project is important for Google as the internet progressively migrates into more "app-centric" territory. Many of the company's biggest competitors like Apple and Facebook continue to build robust content hubs within their own ecosystems, moving users further away from traditional web browsers and deeper into their own proprietary services. Google, which still relies heavily on its traditional web-based search business for the majority of its profits, faces the difficult task of finding new ways to keep users engaged with the mobile web. By increasing the speeds of mobile web content with AMP (which Google claims can increase page rendering by up to 85%), Google aims to radically improve the user experience of mobile web-based browsing. Essentially, all parties look to benefit if the project proves successful: Users get a faster, more enjoyable web experience, webmasters gain a more engaged and faithful readership, and Google fortifies their core search business against increased competition.
While the mobile web certainly looks to benefit from AMP with dramatically improved speeds, participating in the initiative won't mean business as usual for many publishers. The project will have enormous implications for advertising, as certain ad types won't be permissible (at least initially) when using the new technology. Additionally, AMP won't permit publishers to use certain "content walls" that require users to perform actions (e.g. watching a video) before they can reach the content they were looking for. Despite those limitations, Google has already brokered several partnerships with various ad companies to make their services compatible with AMP, providing publishers with ample means of monetizing their sites and content under the new initiative.
While Google has declined any comment on the reported February 24th start date, it does fall in line with their own projected timeline of "late February". Users are likely to see the results of the project very soon, with several prominent websites like The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal reported to go live with AMP-powered web content as early as next week.