Google Announces Plans For Faster Web-Based News

As more and more turn to their tablets and smartphone for news, Google has largely been left out as more and more news sources move to dedicated apps.

Accelerated Mobile Pages

News apps have supplanted the web as a news source in the last few years and with that Google has seen a drop in advertising revenue as a result. It has been held hostage by Facebook’s and Apple’s “walled gardens” and the search giant is clearly not happy with this. Owing to this shift, Google announced on Wednesday that it is working with around 30 publishers that include the New York Times, the BBC, and the Financial Times. This article is primarily the result of reporting by said Financial Times.

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The open-source technology that Google is looking to develop is expected to be implemented in the first half of 2016. There is no question that our collective attention spans have declined in recent years with people demanding fast loading news pages, and frankly, faster everything since the unveiling of Apple’s first generation iPhone.

“Every time a web page takes too long to load, they lose a reader — and the opportunity to earn revenue through advertising or subscriptions,” said David Besbris, vice-president of engineering at Google’s search division.

Google playing catch up?

As an Internet pioneer, especially when it comes to search and for that matter news, it’s difficult to think of Google lagging behind others but this is the case.

Last month saw Apple introduce its news app which loads articles immediately.  Back in May, Facebook launched its “instant articles” which gifted publishers the ability to directly publish stories into Facebook’s mobile app.

Google is hoping that its “Accelerated Mobile Pages” will see more people using the web to access news rather than having to download multiple apps from different publishers.

“This is a really important moment for us to help make the web great again,” Mr Besbris said.

Tony Danker, chief strategy officer at Guardian News & Media told the Financial times that Google’s initiative is a “a project of real ambition. It seeks simultaneously to create a great user experience, to give more autonomy to publishers to deliver that and to develop effective advertising for the mobile web.”