Google inaugurates Accelerated Mobile Pages project to help publishers, advertisers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2015
Google on Wednesday announced a new open-source project dubbed Accelerated Mobile Pages, intended to increase the hits publishers receive on articles, and hence the public's exposure to advertising.




The company noted that whenever a page takes too long to load, readers tend to go elsewhere. In response it has developed AMP HTML, a multi-platform framework based on existing technologies. In theory the effort should allow "lightweight" mobile webpages which nevertheless have video, animation, still graphics, and ads.

An initial specification is being made available today through GitHub, and a demo has been produced for Google Search. Other Google products (like Google News) will incorporate AMP over time, and the company has signed up just under 30 publishers, plus other partners like Twitter, Pinterest, Wordpress, and Adobe Analytics.

Part of the AMP initiative involves a new caching strategy in which publishers can host their own content, but take advantage of Google's caching servers for faster distribution. Those servers are being made free to use.

Although most of Google's revenue is derived from advertising, the company is promising to support a wide variety of ad formats and networks, along with subscriptions and other paywalls. A caveat is that AMP-compatible formats can't harm the end experience.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    What ha piece of crap, they're really starting to smell that people have had of enough of the turds they sell.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,953member

    I remember having a discussion years ago with a friend about how HTML simply wasn't designed to handle all of the things it was being used for (i.e. dynamic, interactive content).  The fact that many websites can grind mobile devices to a halt (both in terms of downloading and displaying) is proof of this.  So, imo, trying to optimize HTML like this when it really needs a redesign feels like polishing a turd.  But I guess it makes sense if all you're trying to do is ensure you can get ads in front of eyeballs quicker.

  • Reply 3 of 26
    Help? Or just self-serving so Google can jam more advertisements on everyone's phone
  • Reply 4 of 26
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teco221 View Post



    Help? Or just self-serving so Google can jam more advertisements on everyone's phone



    The idea behind what they're doing is summed up by this statement (from this page):

     

    Quote:

    The web today is many things: an application platform, an e-commerce platform, a content platform, a gaming platform, and so much more. We decided to focus entirely on static content as it lends itself to more radical optimization approaches that are easier to apply across the board.


     

    Basically, they're taking the subset of HTML used for static content (which is what most publishers are generating) and optimizing it in various ways.  Optimizations which can't be made if you have to deal with all of the other stuff which has been shoehorned into HTML over the years (e.g. web pages which can modify themselves dynamically).

     

    All of that sounds ok.  The concern here is that, in order to gain some of these optimizations, you need to be using Google's caching servers.  Which means they have a fair bit of control over how content is served up, and could leverage that to, say, prioritize their ads over others in subtle ways.

  • Reply 5 of 26
    [quote]The company noted that whenever a page takes too long to load, readers tend to go elsewhere. In response it has developed AMP HTML, a multi-platform framework based on existing technologies. In theory the effort should allow "lightweight" mobile webpages which nevertheless have video, animation, still graphics, and ads.[/quote]

    Has it occurred to these clowns that mobile sites take longer to display because it has to load advertisements? I know I know, the whole point of this solution isn't to eliminate Googles business model, but to limit its unwanted side effects on the user experience.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    teco221 wrote: »
    Help? Or just self-serving so Google can jam more advertisements on everyone's phone

    It's not self serving; it serves Google's paying customers, and that is not you and I.
  • Reply 7 of 26
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,815member
    auxio wrote: »

    The idea behind what they're doing is summed up by this statement (from this page):


    Basically, they're taking the subset of HTML used for static content (which is what most publishers are generating) and optimizing it in various ways.  Optimizations which can't be made if you have to deal with all of the other stuff which has been shoehorned into HTML over the years (e.g. web pages which can modify themselves dynamically).

    All of that sounds ok.  The concern here is that, in order to gain some of these optimizations, you need to be using Google's caching servers.  Which means they have a fair bit of control over how content is served up, and could leverage that to, say, prioritize their ads over others in subtle ways.
    Thanks for a very helpful link. So it's not even a Google developed project in the first place but instead something they're signing on with in support.

    I think the worry over the content streaming directly from Google services is needless. Google is right that it would speed things up. With so many shill complaints from the Microsoft front FairSearch.org promping investigations over unfair practices already I would be shocked if Google used it the opportunity to change the intent of web operators. No, I think Google really is trying to assist in speeding up the web for users and content providers alike. Of course it benefits companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple too that depend so heavily on web content and services to support their business plans.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by auxio View Post

     



    The idea behind what they're doing is summed up by this statement (from this page):

     

     

    Basically, they're taking the subset of HTML used for static content (which is what most publishers are generating) and optimizing it in various ways.  Optimizations which can't be made if you have to deal with all of the other stuff which has been shoehorned into HTML over the years (e.g. web pages which can modify themselves dynamically).

     

    All of that sounds ok.  The concern here is that, in order to gain some of these optimizations, you need to be using Google's caching servers.  Which means they have a fair bit of control over how content is served up, and could leverage that to, say, prioritize their ads over others in subtle ways.


     

    They also get even more info on the users, the ad placers, whatever... Just what's needed... Like I said, they make me sick.

    They serve less and less purpose every single second.

  • Reply 9 of 26
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post





    Has it occurred to these clowns that mobile sites take longer to display because it has to load advertisements? I know I know, the whole point of this solution isn't to eliminate Googles business model, but to limit its unwanted side effects on the user experience.

     

    Unless they're saving a substantial amount of bandwidth and cutting half of the ads, I doubt they're really  helping with user experience; maybe we just get more ads in the same time. Right now, slowness restricted how many ads you could put in a page (for those that actually cared about that, some site don't).

     

    Considering Google's own heap of bad code (their JS for years was the most vile thing ever), the fact that you have to do 50 different connections to load a page is also contributing to the mess, there is a lot to fix...

     

    I guess they want all those other ads to pipeline through the same http connection instead of having to do a separate DNS lookup, local caching, remote caching (not from google) or server (non google server) cycle for each online advertisers.

     

    That means its faster on the loading for a remote site (lot less latency), but they got advertisers by the balls (probably get more revenue from them too).

     

    On the device itself though, it doesn't help much, pages still are bloated from ads once you get the ad data and takes CPU and memory to load up.

     

    I prefer optimization help the content user experience and this is not really helping.

  • Reply 10 of 26
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

    So it's not even a Google developed project in the first place but instead something they're signing on with in support.

    Wrong. 100% Google. A required element in any AMP page is cdn.ampproject.org

    Check the whois for that.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foggyhill View Post

    What ha piece of crap

    You should do some research before jumping to conclusions.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

    It's not self serving; it serves Google's paying customers, and that is not you and I.

    You should do some research before jumping to conclusions.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by auxio View Post

    The concern here is that, in order to gain some of these optimizations, you need to be using Google's caching servers. 


    This is not correct. You can use your own server to serve the content. You do have to load a single Javascript file from amp project.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foggyhill View Post

    Unless they're saving a substantial amount of bandwidth and cutting half of the ads, I doubt they're really  with user experience.


    It is not up to Google to cut the ads. That is determined by the website serving the page. You might benefit from reading the documentation instead of making wild speculation.

     

     

    I have spent the last hour or so reading ALL the documentation, downloaded the package from Github and reviewed every line of code in every file in the project. My conclusion is that this will be very helpful and prevents bad pages with evil tracking and rogue Javascript. Very impressed!

  • Reply 11 of 26
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,815member
    mstone wrote: »
    Wrong. 100% Google. A required element in any AMP page is cdn.ampproject.org
    Check the whois for that.

    I have spent the last hour or so reading ALL the documentation, downloaded the package from Github and reviewed every line of code in every file in the project. My conclusion is that this will be very helpful and prevents bad pages with evil tracking and rogue Javascript. Very impressed!
    Thanks! I forget about Whois lookups
  • Reply 12 of 26
    Now, if they will step up and do the right thing. I'm tired of subsidizing their data intensive ads (ex: automated video) that chew up my time and mobile data use and reduce the data amounts I have available to do what I want. I'm tired of the stealing bandwidth to run their ads.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,815member
    Now, if they will step up and do the right thing. I'm tired of subsidizing their data intensive ads (ex: automated video) that chew up my time and mobile data use and reduce the data amounts I have available to do what I want. I'm tired of the stealing bandwidth to run their ads.
    Good news! Google already announced they'll be taking steps to block those intrusive "automated video" data-hogging ads.
    http://arstechnica.co.uk/information-technology/2015/06/google-chrome-will-soon-intelligently-block-auto-playing-flash-ads/
  • Reply 14 of 26
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    A couple other observations:

     

    It disables Ghostery somehow but, it doesn't really matter because tracking is not allowed anyway, other than a 1x1 pixel for page view count.

     

    AdBlock still works.

     

    It also disables scrolling until the content below has rendered.

     

    One other thing to keep in mind is that the way it works is that it creates iframes for every resource so even if the external content has Javascript it can't put cookies in your browser because it is sandbox by the browser.

  • Reply 15 of 26
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Wrong. 100% Google. A required element in any AMP page is cdn.ampproject.org

    Check the whois for that.

     

    You should do some research before jumping to conclusions.

     

    You should do some research before jumping to conclusions.

     

    This is not correct. You can use your own server to serve the content. You do have to load a single Javascript file from amp project.

     

    It is not up to Google to cut the ads. That is determined by the website serving the page. You might benefit from reading the documentation instead of making wild speculation.

     

     

    I have spent the last hour or so reading ALL the documentation, downloaded the package from Github and reviewed every line of code in every file in the project. My conclusion is that this will be very helpful and prevents bad pages with evil tracking and rogue Javascript. Very impressed!


     

    Google has 15 years of shitty code behind them, that's a fact; nobody should give them a cookie for now "caring".

     

    They're caring because it has become so bad that people are blocking ads and it will eventually impact their business.

    All we'll get is more ads, not better experience, except maybe from sites that actually case about user experience (very few)

  • Reply 16 of 26
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foggyhill View Post

     

    They're caring because it has become so bad that people are blocking ads and it will eventually impact their business.

    All we'll get is more ads, not better experience, except maybe from sites that actually case about user experience (very few)


    I agree. As Google states in the documentation, if the page is full of ads and is slow loading and jerking around as the elements load, people tend to bail. They want a good user experience so that people stick around to view their ads. They also prohibit javascript except for their single js file. That in itself really speeds things up because multiple html request take a lot of time. Same with stylesheets. You have to put all your styles in the head tag. I see all of the features as VERY focused on user experience. Unfortunately ads are a necessary evil as a revenue model for many websites. Another nice thing about the no tracking aspect is that it prevents dynamic ad targeting. 

     

    I know it is surprising coming from Google, but I have to say this is a very clean and user security focused platform which will definitely be an improvement over what we have now.

  • Reply 17 of 26
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Good news! Google already announced they'll be taking steps to block those intrusive "automated video" data-hogging ads.
    http://arstechnica.co.uk/information-technology/2015/06/google-chrome-will-soon-intelligently-block-auto-playing-flash-ads/

    I should be excited why?

    I don't carry a computer with me. Too heavy.

    I do all my browsing on my phone. Less risk.

    I don't trust Google. Does anyone really?

    Why would I want to use a browser that almost certainly uses my bandwidth to transmit my browsing habits, my key strokes, etc. back to Google — or what I will refer to as "the mothership?"
  • Reply 18 of 26
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macaholic_1948 View Post





    I should be excited why?



    I don't carry a computer with me. Too heavy.



    I do all my browsing on my phone. Less risk.



    I don't trust Google. Does anyone really?



    Why would I want to use a browser that almost certainly uses my bandwidth to transmit my browsing habits, my key strokes, etc. back to Google — or what I will refer to as "the mothership?"



    AMP is specifically designed for mobile. The fact that it can be viewed on a computer is irrelevant. It is completely browser agnostic. This an open source project on Github with an Apache license. They can't hide any secret code in there. Totally transparent.

  • Reply 19 of 26
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,953member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    Thanks for a very helpful link. So it's not even a Google developed project in the first place but instead something they're signing on with in support.

     

    Where did you find that information?  AFAICT, it's a Google-initiated project (I found that link from the Google Blog).

     

    Quote:


    Originally Posted by mstone


     


    This is not correct. You can use your own server to serve the content. You do have to load a single Javascript file from amp project.


     

    But the original article states that:

     

    Quote:


    Part of the AMP initiative involves a new caching strategy in which publishers can host their own content, but take advantage of Google's caching servers for faster distribution


     

    So yes, you can host your own content.  However, to gain even more speed, you distribute it through their caching servers.  Which is where they could do things like, make content that contains their ads higher priority than content that doesn't.

     

    Now, if they open-sourced the server-side caching code to allow anyone to run a similar caching server, then I'd have no concerns at all.

  • Reply 20 of 26
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by auxio View Post

     

    Now, if they open-sourced the server-side caching code to allow anyone to run a similar caching server, then I'd have no concerns at all.


     

    In the documentation they state that you can use your own caching server.

     

    I would use Apache Traffic Server.  Free open source. Perhaps the very same platform Google is using.

     

    The advantage of using Google's caching servers is because it distributes worldwide so the cache is close to the client.

Sign In or Register to comment.