Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages go live with promise of zippier browsing

Look for a green thunderbolt in Google search results to find out which sites are part of the new project.

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Google’s new initiative to speed up the mobile web is out of the starting gate. Now when you perform a Google search on a mobile device, you’ll see pages with a green thunderbolt and “AMP” designation, which indicates they’ve been repurposed for rapid loading.

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project is similar to Facebook’s Instant Articles, which give publishers tools to let their pages load in a fraction of the time as they did before. 


The difference with Google’s effort is the goal is to keep people on the web instead of locked inside a social network. Google also needs to protect its revenue stream—the more people abandon the web because of slow load times, the less they’ll see and interact with AdSense advertisements.

Several large publishers who are launch partners are already on board, but Google has a toolkit for any publisher that wants to implement this on their own site. WordPress site owners can also grab a plugin built by the blogging site for easy implementation. 

The story behind the story: The web has slowed to a crawl in many places, given how much content some publishers have tried to cram onto each page. This has particularly been a problem on mobile devices, where space and time are a premium. Apple’s decision to allow ad-blocking apps on iOS is particularly alarming for Google, as it means those precious ads won’t get any eyeballs. It’ll be worth watching to see how quickly the Accelerated Mobile Pages program catches on and if search in general will be a less frustrating experience.

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