Google continues to make major investments in improving the performance of and user experience on the web. This has been primarily through the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework, which was first launched in 2015 and has been aggressively developed, promoted, and integrated into publishing platforms ever since.
Initially viewed as another proprietary format (even though it is open source), in addition to only providing a limited feature set at launch, the AMP framework has struggled with widespread adoption. Support for AMP across the entire web currently stands at less than .1%.
However, sites that have adopted AMP have seen encouraging gains in site performance and conversions (which presumes a correlating better site user experience). These and other noted benefits have led Google to begin working toward taking the technologies utilized by AMP and folding them into open web standards.
From the announcement today:
“The standardization work motivated by AMP is well under way through various WICG projects. Google’s goal is to extend support in features like the Top Stories carousel to AMP-like content that (1) meets a set of performance and user experience criteria and (2) implements a set of new web standards. Some of the proposed standards in the critical path are Feature Policy, Web Packaging, iframe promotion, Performance Timeline, and Paint Timing. Equally important, the Chrome team last year released the Chrome User Experience report. Its underlying data provides, for the first time, web-wide real world measurements for performance and user experience.”
Noted in the post from Google’s tech lead for the AMP project, Malte Ubl, is that Google will continue to support, promote and develop the AMP project. The goal of working the AMP features into open web standards aligns with Google’s overall mission for a stronger, better, and especially faster web experience. Standardizing on these features will allow developers to utilize them without having to fully adopt the AMP framework. It will also allow sites to, for example, appear in the Top Stories carousel in Google search.
From the post:
“We are taking what we learned from AMP, and are working on web standards that will allow instant loading for non-AMP web content. We hope this work will also unlock AMP-like embeddability that powers Google Search features like the Top Stories carousel.”
There was no timeline given for when these features would become available outside of AMP, but we’ll be following along closely.
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