Search engine giant Google has updated its AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages project to enhance the mobile web experience. The new update will now allow mobile internet users to view copy and share the canonical link of the article or webpage along with the Google AMP's version of the URL.
Previously users were offered the optimized version of the original content that somehow landed Google in some controversies.
Read out to find everything on the controversy, the new update and what Google AMP does for mobile internet users.
Forced to offer the update?
It was in October 2016 when a publisher reported that Google is stealing his traffic with its ambitious AMP project. In one of his article, he mentioned that instead of redirecting users to an optimized version hosted on his server, the search engine giant was offering a snapshot of its work from their own cache. Moreover, he also talked about a Google's toolbar that was encouraging users to get back to Google search results, thus making it harder to get to the original site.
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This is in contradiction with Google AMP's actual purpose as the project was coded to allow easy distribution of content on platforms- Google, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. in such a way that the whole process retains the branding and monetization control for the publisher.
In Google's words, the attribution, brand, and ownership must be clear but somehow AMP missed it.
What Google has to say?
As per Google, AMP tries to solve some of the problems of the mobile web at scale, so its components must be easy to use for everyone. Google blog reads that for small scale publishers, that doesn't manage its own DNS entries, doesn't have engineering resources to push content through complicated APIs, or can't pay for content delivery networks, a lot of these technologies are inaccessible.
For this reason, the Google AMP Cache works by means of a simple URL "transformation." A webmaster only has to make their content available at some URL and the Google AMP Cache can then cache and serve the content through Google's world-wide infrastructure through a new URL that mirrors and transforms the original.
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To simply put, Google AMP is just helping publishers to get their content readable even if they don't have resources to do the same for a wider audience.
We have also faced some issues with Google AMP where articles published on GIZBOT missed some important content when viewed on mobile browsers. For instance, the AMP version of an interview published on the site does not show the 'Questions' on mobile browsers, which makes the story look like a sea of content.
While Google AMP does help in fast rendering of online content and allows end users to access the website even with poor internet connectivity, sometimes it might just lose on offering the true essence of story, which Google tried to address with the new update.
So what has changed with the new update?
Google listened to the publisher's request and have added support for the same functionality in form of an anchor button in the AMP Viewer header on Google Search. This feature allows users to use their browser's native share functionality by long-tapping on the link that is displayed.
Besides, Google also mentioned that in the coming weeks, the Android Google app will share the original URL of a document when users tap on the app's share button. However this functionality is already available on the iOS Google app.
For those who are still unaware- what is Google AMP project?
Google AMP is company's ambitious project designed to offer lightning fast browsing on mobile devices. AMP offers a stripped-down version of a web page with cached resources, which helps the web page to load quickly on a mobile device to offer a better mobile browsing experience. As per an analysis, the average AMP page currently loads four times faster than non-AMP pages.
How does AMP work?
Accelerated Mobile Pages can load in any modern browser or app webview. The project is open to all players in the ecosystem, be it publishers, consumer platforms or creators.
Google wants the AMP experience to be good for users as well as publishers. The new update addresses the publisher's main concern of attribution and branding and improves the mobile web experience for end users.
Besides, Google is also working on leveraging upcoming web platform APIs to improve this functionality even further. One such API is Web Share API that would allow AMP viewers to invoke the platform's native sharing flow with the original URL rather than the AMP viewer URL.
Stay tuned on GIZBOT for more updates.