- Google plans to loosen control over its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) format with a new "consensus-seeking governance model" that relies on a committee to make decisions about the technology, Malte Ubl, the tech leader for the AMP Project at Google, said in a blog post. In the past, Ubl made all final decisions about AMP's code, the Verge reported.
- The Washington Post, AliExpress, eBay, Cloudflare and WordPress developer Automattic are among the non-Google parties that will be on the AMP's new advisory committee. The AMP Project also is forming a technical steering committee and working groups to help steer the technology's development.
- The governance proposal comes as Google prepares to host next week's AMP Contributor Summit at its headquarters in Mountain View, California. A review and comment period for the proposals will end Oct. 25, per Search Engine Land. AMP is a stripped-down form of HTML that boosts the mobile download speeds of website ads and content.
The open-source AMP Project is Google's attempt to improve the mobile web. However, some parts of the web community are suspicious of the company, which dominates many aspects of the technology and has a near-monopoly in internet search and power to control what billions of people see online. Google has tried to allay those concerns with its proposed governance model and states in its blog post that about 80% of contributions to AMP come from the broader publisher and developer community.
As mobile devices become the primary way for people to access the internet, it's important to Google's business strategy to ensure that the sites appearing its search results download as quickly as possible. Mobile users tend to be very impatient and will abandon websites that don’t load quickly on their smartphones and tablet screens. Consumers are looking for an experience like apps that immediately respond to taps, swipes and other gestures.
Other marketers and media companies that use the AMP format now also have a vested interest in a faster mobile web. This move by Google for more democratic oversight will likely be good for them because it provides a forum where they can offer their own insights. Earlier this year, Google started a project to convince web standards groups to adopt technology derived from AMP. Google's proposal, as outlined in a blog post, would let mobile users see faster non-AMP sites throughout the web.