It’s clear that Google is thinking hard about the future of search beyond simply providing a list of blue links. Over the past several years, Google’s search engine has evolved to the point where it can answer everything from questions about our medical symptoms to finding the operating hours of places we want to visit.
Now, one of the next steps for Google when it comes to improving search involves actually making results load faster on the mobile web. Google’s AMP project, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, is going live early next year, the company announced in a new blog post.
“Google will begin sending traffic to your AMP pages in Google Search early next year, and we plan to share more concrete specifics on timing very soon,” Google’s David Besbris and Richard Gingras wrote.
AMP is a new way to present news articles in mobile search results that Google announced in October. Google says thousands of publishers, including the BBC, the New York Times, and others have expressed interest in the project since the preview launched last month. It’s an open framework that essentially makes it so that website owners can build sites that are lighter and quicker to load on mobile devices. This means that when Googling a given topic, news stories from the company’s AMP partners will appear in a carousel format at the top of Google’s search results.
Tapping any of those results will prompt the story to load instantaneously since publishers will have the ability to use Google’s caching system, allowing the article to load within Google rather than redirecting the reader to the publication’s website. In other words, there’s less work that needs to be done in order to actually load a web page published by one of Google’s AMP partners.
Google claims this system will “dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web.” Although the feature was unveiled last month, Google hadn’t revealed any information regarding timing until it published its blog post on Nov. 24.
Google is one of several technology companies investigating ways to make news and information quicker to access. Facebook Instant is a feature that enables news articles posted to Facebook to load within the social network rather than linking out externally, cutting down on loading times. Apple also launched its Apple News app with iOS 9 in September, which pulls in content from publishers and displays articles within the app rather than linking off to a news website.