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Google Rolls Out Accelerated Mobile Pages: What This Means For Publishers And Users

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After highlighting mobile optimized sites with its "mobile friendly tag," Google on Wednesday began bringing attention to Web pages that will fully load on tablets and smartphones in under 3 seconds.

It's part of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, which is mostly aimed at catching the attention of the average Web surfer - someone who relies on mobile Internet for most of their searches.

About four months ago, Google began working with webmasters in an effort to highlight websites that won't take more than 3 seconds to populate their pages in full. And that's critical considering how much mobile speeds still vary depending on a handset's proximity to cellular towers and the obstructions between them.

"Data shows that people abandon websites after just three seconds if the content doesn't load quickly - which is bad not just for people trying to get what they want online, but for the publishers who want those readers to enjoy the content they've created for them," said David Besbris, Google's vice president of Engineering and Search.

So those websites that won't send users away frustrated, will be branded with a little lightning bold badge and the AMP acronym. They'll also float to the surfaces of search results, up to the Top Stories section.

Any of the AMP results will load "blazingly fast" and the content won't play musical chairs, moving about as it falls into place. Users can also simply swipe through the AMP listings, making them easier to navigate.

On average, AMP pages load up to four times faster and use about 10 times less data than those that don't bear the lightning bold badge.

This is all a far cry from the so called "Mobilegeddon," which wasn't as bad as billed. But it's yet another dividing line that could see high traffic sites get even more hits, and those that struggle for patronage get hit even harder.

The moral here is something along the lines of an old Microsoft saying: "It's a mobile first, cloud first world."

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